Yesterday, Ars reviews editor Ron Amadeo told me he had observed some interesting activity in the GitHub repository for Android. Several commits made over the last couple of weeks have made extensive mention of “AArch64,” the architecture used by 64-bit ARM SoCs.
While the vast majority of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code isn’t released to the community until after Google announces a new Android version, the Github repository houses code maintained by third parties that Google incorporates into its operating system. This isn’t the first time the open source community has contributed 64-bit code to Android, nor does this necessarily mean that we’ll see a 64-bit ARM build of Android running on shipping hardware any time soon. However, at least a few of these commits have Google employee names on them, suggesting that work is being done in earnest.
Intel has already announced a 64-bit version of Android 4.4 that will run on its own Bay Trail Atom processors, but Intel-powered Android devices remain a relatively small niche for now. Android and its developers won’t be able to fully embrace 64-bit until the ARM ecosystem does, and even once the hardware support is there it will take some time for the software support to follow. The GitHub commits make this as good a time as any to talk about ARM and Android’s path to 64-bit support and how it mirrors the move from 32-bit to 64-bit that happened in PCs a decade or so ago.
via Ars Technica http://ift.tt/1cACwsJ