Android RISC-V progress update, emulator support, and roadmap to 2023

Android 12 RISC-V

We’ve first covered Alibaba T-Head work on Android 10 for RISC-V in January 2021, and later that year they started selling the T-Head RVB-ICE dual-core RISC-V board with GPU for software development. The company has now provided an update for Android 12 RISC-V port, instructions to build Android RISC-V to run it in an emulator,  as well as a 2022-2023 roadmap. Alibaba T-head is working on hardware platforms, which appears to be similar to T-Head RVB-ICE board, with the following minimal specifications: CPU – At least Dual-core XuanTie C910 (rv64imafdcv) processor GPU – Compatible with OpenGL ES and OpenCL VPU – HW Video/Picture codec Neural Network Accelerator System Memory – 4GB or more DDR Memory Display – MIPI/HDMI Audio – Multi-Channel Audio output & input Camera – ISP with support for multiple MIPI CSI lanes USB interface(s) They built upon the work done on Android 10 to add support for […]

Volla Phone 22 runs Ubuntu Touch or a Google-free Android OS (Crowdfunding)

Volla Phone 22 Ubuntu Touch

Volla Phone 22 is a 6.3-inch smartphone powered by a MediaTek Helio G85 processor that focuses on privacy and runs either Ubuntu Touch from UBPorts, Volla OS Android fork without Google Play services or apps (YouTube,  Gmail, etc…), or others operating through a multi-boot. Hardware-wise, the Volla Phone 22 is a mid-range smartphone with 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, and it also comes with features not found on most recent smartphones including a user-replaceable battery, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card socket. Volla Phone 22 specifications: SoC – Mediatek Helio G85 octa-core processor with Arm Cortex-A75 cores @ up to 2.0 GHz, Cortex-A55 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz, Arm Mali-G52 MC2 GPU up to 1.0 GHz System Memory – 4GB RAM Storage – 128GB eMMC flash, microSD card socket Display – 6.3-inch Full HD display with 410 ppi pixel density. Audio – 3.5mm jack, built-in microphone and speaker […]

Android 12 on Raspberry Pi 4 – (Almost) everything works

Android 12 Raspberry Pi 4

Android 12 (AOSP) source code was released last month, and a developer took the opportunity to port Android 12 to the Raspberry Pi 4 single board computer and derivatives. More specifically, KonstaT created an unofficial build of LineageOS 19.0 for Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 400 keyboard PC, and Compute Module 4 working on systems with at least 2GB of RAM. While it’s reserved for advanced users, the Android 12 build appears to work pretty well with most features supported including: Video HDMI display including CEC Touchscreen/multi-touch (USB touchscreens, Waveshare SPI touchscreens) Hardware-accelerated graphics (V3D, OpenGL & Vulkan) Audio HDMI, 3.5mm jack, USB microphones, Bluetooth speakers/headphones Audio DACs such as Hifiberry DAC+ Connectivity Ethernet WiFi including tethering Bluetooth including Bluetooth tethering GPS using external USB modules USB tested with USB mouse, keyboard, storage, etc… USB-C: ADB, MTP, PTP, USB tethering I/Os (GPIO, I2C, SPI) tested with Remote controls via external […]

Android 12 source code pushed to AOSP

Android 12 source code AOSP

Google has now pushed Android 12 source code to AOSP (Android Open Source Project), after introducing Android 12 new features and the developer preview in February, and the first Android 12 Beta in May. The latest version of the mobile operating system should become available on recent Google Pixel phones in the next few weeks, followed by phones from Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Tecno, Vivo, and Xiaomi. You can download the code with the following command :

Eventually, there should be an Android 12 tag in the manifest similar to android-12.0.0.0_r1. But that still means developers can start retrieving the source code to adapt the operating system to their needs, for example, to implement support for single board computers or TV boxes that do not use Android TV OS. The release notes for the source code list of the changes made to Android 12 OS including: Support for Android […]

Powkiddy A20 – An Amlogic S905D3 powered portable Android game console

Powkiddy A20

Powkiddy A20 is a 3.5-inch portable Android game console based on the same Amlogic S905D3 processor found in Khadas VIM3L SBC, equipped with 2GB RAM, 8GB storage, and supported 18 different emulators for gaming. It could potentially also be an interesting platform to play with AOSP, as we’ll see below. Preliminary specifications for Powkiddy A20: SoC – Amlogic S905D3 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor @ 1.9GHz with Arm Mali-G31MP2 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan 1.0 and OpenCL 2.0 System Memory – 2GB DDR4 RAM Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card socket Display 3.5-inch IPS screen with 640×480 resolution Micro HDMI port to connect to external monitor or TV Audio – 3.5mm audio jack Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/ WiFi 4 and Bluetooth User input – Rocker, D-Pad, A/B/C/D/X/Y buttons, volume buttons, and power button USB – 1x USB-C port for charging Battery – 3,000 mAh good for about 3.5 hours of […]

Android 10 ported to RISC-V board powered by Alibaba T-Head XuanTie C910 Processor

Android 10 RISC-V

RISC-V has made a lot of progress in just a few years, but for anything requiring 3D graphics acceleration, it’s not quite there yet. and we only expect RISC-V SoC with Imagination Technologies GPU to come out later this year on hardware such as BeagleV SBC. An OS that will definitely require 3D graphics acceleration is Android, and work has already started since T-Head, a business entity of Alibaba Group specializing in semiconductor chips, has already ported Android 10 (AOSP) on RISC-V architecture with support for graphics and the touchscreen display. The demo above runs on ICE EVB powered by a XuanTie C910 based high-performance SoC board developed by T-Head. Specifically, the ICE SoC integrates two XuanTie C910 cores (RV64) @ 1.2 GHz, one other XuanTie C910V core @ 1.2 GHz with vector extensions, a single-core 3D GPU core [Update: it’s a Vivante GC8000UL GPU], DDR4 memory support, a GMAC […]

Khadas VIM3 & VIM3L SBC’s become Android reference boards

Khadas VIM3 & VIM3L Android Reference Boards

If you need to work on the very latest development version of Android or AOSP, you can either get one of the supported phones such as Google Pixel 5,  one of the reference boards for Android which should be better for development and also fairly cheaper. We previously reported about Hikey, Hikey960, and DragonBoard 845c single board computers being part of the short list of reference boards for the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP), but Amlogic powered Khadas VIM3 and VIM3L have recently been added to the official devices page which makes them the first AOSP reference boards with a dedicated NPU / AI accelerator. As a quick reminder, Khadas VIM3 is the most powerful board with an Amlogic A311D hexa-core Cortex-A73/A53 processor with up to 4GB RAM and 32GB flash, and Khadas VIM3L is the light version with an Amlogic S905D3 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB flash. […]

Android 11 Release – People-centric Communication and “Pixel-First” Features

Android 11 Stable

Six months have passed since Android 11 developer preview was released in February and at the time we noted enhancements for foldables and 5G, new call-screening APIs, new media & camera capabilities including animated HEIF support, as well as machine learning improvements. Google has now officially released Android 11 that is currently rolling out to select Google Pixel, OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Realme phones. More phones will be upgraded/supported in the future, and Google also introduced some Pixel-first features that will (initially?) end up on Pixel phones exclusively. All Android 11 phones will support chat bubbles to message on top of other applications, built-in screen & audio, wireless Android Auto support with compatible cars, one-time permission for increased privacy, and more. But Google may have changed strategy trying to make Pixel phones more attractive to prospective buyers and increase sales as the Android 11 release comes with the following Pixel-exclusive […]