ST-Ericsson and ARM [(LSE:ARM); (Nasdaq:ARMH)] announced today at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, their ongoing joint development to optimize Android to take advantage of Symmetric Multi Processing (SMP) when executing on the high-performance and power-efficient ST-Ericsson U8500 platform, which uses a dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ processor. This next-generation platform improves the multitasking capability and peak performance of Android handsets, while maintaining the lowest power consumption profile. Support for SMP within Android will enable the next level of performance and capabilities for Android handsets. This includes combining access to rich web content and multimedia, the latest location-based services and social networking, and a compelling user interface.
Consumer demand for advanced multimedia applications and an always-on, full web experience on their handsets is putting unprecedented pressure on the battery life of devices. ARM MPCore technology provides improvements over the multicore architectures which are now widely used in personal computers and servers to maximize the performance and power-efficiency of a device by enabling power management techniques that significantly reduce dynamic and static power consumption. This joint optimization from the ST-Ericsson and ARM effort will be fed back into the Android Open Source community for all to use.
“Using mobile phones solely to make phone calls and send short messages is becoming a thing of the past,” said Ronan de Renesse, senior analyst, head of Mobile Media, Screen Digest. “Revenues from mobile data services and applications are set to double in the next four years to reach Euro 100bn. For the market to reach its full potential, new mobile devices must become more versatile. With Web browsing being the most popular application on smartphones, it is also therefore critical for manufacturers to offer the best browsing experience.”
By optimizing Android for SMP on the Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, ST-Ericsson and ARM will help device manufacturers meet the growing demand for advanced smartphones with the cost and power consumption characteristics of a traditional feature phone.
Among the very first chipsets to integrate the ARM multicore Cortex-A9 MPCore application processor and the Mali-400™ graphic processor, ST-Ericsson’s U8500 platform can provide peak application performance while also being able to support 120 hours of audio playback or 12 hours of full HD video playback on one battery charge.
“Being strong supporters of Open Source, we have already started to contribute optimizations for ARM multicore technology to Android and look forward to bringing more to the Open Source community, enabling consumers innovative user experiences,” said Teppo Hemia, vice president, 3G Multimedia Platforms Business Unit of ST-Ericsson. “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.”
“Our partnership with ST-Ericsson will bring about a step change in the performance and capabilities of Android handsets enabling a richer and more sophisticated mobile web experience,” said Ian Drew, executive vice president, Marketing, ARM. “By providing an on-demand use of device resources, the ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore multicore processor is quickly becoming the defacto technology in the handset market, where low power consumption with on-demand performance is critical.”