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February 14, 2010

ST-Ericsson, ARM adds support for Android on multicore mobile platforms

Claims to enable enhanced performance and battery life for smartphones

By CBR Staff Writer

ST-Ericsson and ARM have unveiled their ongoing joint development to optimise Android to take advantage of symmetric multi processing (SMP) when executing on the ST-Ericsson U8500 platform, which uses a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor.

The companies said that the platform improves multitasking capability and peak performance of Android handsets and maintains low power consumption profile. In addition, the support for SMP within Android will enable the performance and capabilities for Android handsets that include combining access to web content and multimedia, the new location-based services and social networking, and a user interface.

According to ARM, the MPCore technology provides improvements over the multicore architectures by enabling power management techniques that reduce dynamic and static power consumption. The joint optimisation will be fed back into the Android open source community for all to use.

The U8500 platform, which integrates the ARM multicore Cortex-A9 MPCore application processor and the Mali-400 graphic processor, can provide peak application performance while also being able to support 120 hours of audio playback or 12 hours of HD video playback on one battery charge, the company claims.

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Teppo Hemia, vice president of 3G multimedia platforms business unit of ST-Ericsson, said: “Being strong supporters of open source, we have already started to contribute optimisations for ARM multicore technology to Android and look forward to bringing more to the open source community, enabling consumers innovative user experiences.

“Our work with ARM will accelerate the shift of Android and the mobile industry to advanced multicore processors, significantly improving performance scalability while maintaining low levels of power consumption.”

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