Print 45 comment(s) - last by jRaskell.. on May 17 at 5:18 PM

Android gains some more firepower

These days with its ever expanding army of handsets, which just passed the iPhone in U.S. market share, Google's Android doesn't need too much extra help to obtain dominance.  However, Google isn't pulling any punches -- that much is obvious from early speed tests from the latest version of the OS.

Android Police obtained an early copy of the upcoming OS update Android 2.2 (codenamed Froyo, short for "frozen yogurt") and have benchmarked it using the utility Linpack.  Linpack is designed to test Davlik virtual machines -- and the core of Android is a Davlik VM.

The authors of Linpack describe it, writing:
The LINPACK Benchmarks are a measure of a system’s floating point computing power. Introduced by Jack Dongarra, they measure how fast a computer solves a dense N by N system of linear equations Ax = b, which is a common task in engineering. The solution is obtained by Gaussian elimination with partial pivoting, with 2/3*N3 + 2*N2 floating point operations. The result is reported in Millions of FLoating-point Operations Per Second (MFLOP/s, sometimes simply called FLOPS).
The HTC Nexus One with Android 2.1 received a score of 6.5 to 7 MFLOPS, still impressive compared to the HTC Hero's lesser score of 2 MFLOPS.  The Nexus One with Android 2.2 blows both of them away, though, posting a score of 37.593.  That's a 450 percent performance gain over Android 2.1, at least.  To put that further in perspective, an Eee PC scores about 66 MFLOPS, at max.

The Linpack results appear to have come thanks to the new just-in-time (JIT) compiler in Froyo (Android 2.2).  JIT compilers boost performance of interpreted codes like Java.  While this won't help native apps directly, it means that many of your apps will get at least a 2 to 3-fold speed increase.  And native apps should indirectly benefit, as faster non-native apps means more CPU freed for native ones.

Froyo will also be packing Flash 10.1, putting it a step ahead of competitor Apple.  It's clear that Google is bringing its A-game to the table, and it should be thrilling to watch Android 2.2 in action on some of the hot upcoming Android handsets like the HTC EVO (on Sprint), the first 4G Android smart phone.

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400% increase in performance... wow.
By danobrega on 5/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: 400% increase in performance... wow.
By mcnabney on 5/12/2010 9:49:49 AM , Rating: 2
It is more likely that the original complilers and VM was designed around the hardware available at the time. Now that Snapdragon is out they have revisited that design and found ways to take advantage of the faster processor.

By deputc26 on 5/12/2010 11:30:53 AM , Rating: 1
dalvik not davlik.

RE: 400% increase in performance... wow.
By Mitch101 on 5/12/2010 12:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
As a programmer
I tend to write a base application then expand off that core. Eventually I go back and look for redundancy and performance tweeks I can do after its working or I expand the functionality to where it needs a rewrite or makes sense to take another approach that gets everything. Another or is late at night before I fall asleep it pops in your head a better way to do the same thing. Thats the neat thing about programming there is more than one way to do the same thing some are just more efficient than others.

RE: 400% increase in performance... wow.
By freeagle on 5/14/2010 2:30:42 PM , Rating: 4
Considering your programming background, your english source code is really hard to compile

RE: 400% increase in performance... wow.
By dark matter on 5/15/2010 11:33:24 AM , Rating: 2
Capital E in English, dude.

By freeagle on 5/15/2010 6:54:56 PM , Rating: 2
with -Wall

By ksherman on 5/12/2010 9:51:40 AM , Rating: 2
Kind of the latter. As the article mentions, it's mostly due to the J-I-T compiler. And if it is that big of a boon, performance-wise, makes you wonder why it didn't happen sooner.

By tintii on 5/12/2010 9:51:51 AM , Rating: 3
Good point, but considering that android has made such a meteoric hit in such a short time, i think that its praise that they should receive.. i believe that the developers probably worked on getting the system out to the masses... now, once they've done so, they can work on improving performance, reliability, and so on.

RE: 400% increase in performance... wow.
By thrust2night on 5/12/2010 10:00:26 AM , Rating: 4
What you said doesn't make sense. If people can make whatever they make the best they can in the first try then there would be no point to move forward.

Why limit your argument to developers? It's not about getting it right the first time, it's learning from what they have created and making it better. Seems natural to me.

RE: 400% increase in performance... wow.
By Smilin on 5/14/2010 2:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, not with this.

You show that much improvement and it just means you didn't do it right the first time.

By B3an on 5/15/2010 10:05:17 AM , Rating: 2
Nope. It's only an improvement with non native code. Because of Androids new JIT (just in time) compiler.
As far as i know, no other phone OS has something similar to this, so Android will be faster at running non-native apps/games/whatever.

Because of this it also manages to run Flash 10.1 perfectly smooth, even with 3D games and animations.

I will be supporting Android myself with my own Flash based games in the future. I suspect many many other dev's will too on Androids market place and websites.

update to slightly older handsets?
By ChugokuOtaku on 5/12/2010 9:46:02 AM , Rating: 4
I wonder if older handsets like Droid will get this update too...

RE: update to slightly older handsets?
By Methusela on 5/12/2010 11:05:01 AM , Rating: 2
Or, in the case of Sprint, I wonder if older handsets like the HTC Hero will ever even get Android 2.1...

By GreenEnvt on 5/12/2010 12:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
Rogers in Canada has announced they will upgrade the Magic from 1.5 to 2.1, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the Hero also get it.

RE: update to slightly older handsets?
By mcbaine on 5/13/2010 3:54:14 PM , Rating: 2
Sprint has said that they're bringing Android 2.1 to both the HTC Hero and Samsung Moment by the end of 2H of '10.

RE: update to slightly older handsets?
By mcbaine on 5/13/2010 3:59:43 PM , Rating: 2
Nix that, I meant end of 2Q '10

By Cheesew1z69 on 5/15/2010 3:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
Moment update came out yesterday.

RE: update to slightly older handsets?
By muhahaaha on 5/12/2010 11:21:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'd also like to know if Android 2.2 will be installable on my just purchased HTC Incredible. I'm assuming it will be, but does anyone have any hard facts on the upcoming update regarding compatibility with existing phones?

By Jeffk464 on 5/12/2010 8:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously doubt it, I imagine they will make it an update.

By omnicronx on 5/13/2010 11:13:09 AM , Rating: 2
I see no reason that any 2.* compatible phone would not be able to take the 2.2 update, unless of course your carrier/google chooses not to allow it.

Google is trying to stop fragmentation between phones, not increase it. Its not in Googles best interests to force users to buy new phones (unlike Apple, making users replace their handsets has absolutely no value for Google as they don't make money from hardware).

A phone replacement does not increase their userbase, knowing that your phone will be upgradeable going forward very well could.

RE: update to slightly older handsets?
By FITCamaro on 5/12/2010 1:03:50 PM , Rating: 1
The Droid better be getting it. Its what? 7 months old?

By Mojo the Monkey on 5/12/2010 1:58:34 PM , Rating: 2
of course it will.

By SkullOne on 5/12/2010 3:46:23 PM , Rating: 2
One of Droid's selling points was Flash 10.1 support. Android 2.2 appears to be needed for that. Unless Motorola/Verizon want a class action lawsuit we will see 2.2. Sad thing is we'll see it with custom ROM's first as VZN and Motorola will take forever just like they did with 2.1.

450% increase = 5.5 times faster
By Pjotr on 5/12/2010 9:59:06 AM , Rating: 2
450% increase = 5.5 times faster

RE: 450% increase = 5.5 times faster
By danobrega on 5/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: 450% increase = 5.5 times faster
By Pjotr on 5/12/2010 12:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
Uh... yeah... and two times faster is 100% faster... etc. So "typo" in the article.

By adiposity on 5/12/2010 4:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
Uh... yeah... and two times faster is 100% faster... etc. So "typo" in the article.

Two times as fast, not two times faster.

It's either <x>% faster or <y> times as fast.

By danobrega on 5/17/2010 11:42:34 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe you understand it better like this:

0% faster does not mean it's stopped, it means it is just as fast. 100% faster actually means its twice as fast.

At least that's how I understand it.

RE: 450% increase = 5.5 times faster
By Mogounus on 5/12/2010 12:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
450% of x is 4.5x
450% faster is x + 4.5x = 5.5x

By ThePooBurner on 5/17/2010 11:31:45 AM , Rating: 2
7 mflops = 100%
14 mf = 200%
21 = 300%
28 = 400%
35 = 500%

Going from 100% to 500% is an increase of 400%.
Going from 100% to 500% is 5x faster. (1*5=500).

Just so what he is saying is clear to everyone.

By Calindar on 5/12/2010 10:10:32 AM , Rating: 2
Now that is an update! Android apps already run well interpreted, having a JIT will be awesome! And while Apple is attempting to get iPhone OS 4.0 to where Android is now, it's clear Android will already be way ahead when iPhone OS comes close to getting there.

RE: Wow!
By bupkus on 5/12/2010 2:06:34 PM , Rating: 3
Apple is not out. This will force Steve Jobs to divert some of those big bucks from litigation to innovation.

RE: Wow!
By bupkus on 5/12/2010 2:13:32 PM , Rating: 2
Thinking this through just a little further, I'm beginning to sense that Apple is growing to the point that they're need is less for a Charismatic upstart at the helm and more for someone new to take Apple to the next stage.
It would prove to be a culture shock to Apple and its followers, but it must happen and probably in the next 3 to 5 years.

By whiteyd on 5/12/2010 10:26:16 AM , Rating: 5
Owner: Take this object, but beware it carries a terrible curse!
Homer: [worried] Ooooh, that's bad.
Owner: But it comes with a free Frogurt!
Homer: [relieved] That's good.
Owner: The Frogurt is also cursed.
Homer: [worried] That's bad.
Owner: But you get your choice of topping!
Homer: [relieved] That's good.
Owner: The toppings contains Potassium Benzoate.
Homer: [stares]
Owner: That's bad.
Homer: Can I go now?

Battery Life
By Krashnicki on 5/12/2010 10:21:38 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if this performance improvement will affects battery life?

RE: Battery Life
By Jedi2155 on 5/12/2010 10:57:36 AM , Rating: 2
It will probably improve battery life in the sense that the CPU probably will not need to work as hard to do the same tasks thus reducing power draw.

Software is the real bottleneck
By Hapikern on 5/16/2010 4:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
This update shows us that software is the real bottleneck right now in the computer industry... So all of you software developers move your lazy ass and improve your software / OS's already!!

By jRaskell on 5/17/2010 5:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
This update only shows us that Virtual Machines running interpretted code are inherently slow, and native code will ALWAYS be faster. It's got nothing to do with the hardware.

By FaceMaster on 5/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: First!
By NesuD on 5/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: First!
By FaceMaster on 5/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: First!
By AnotherGuy on 5/12/2010 1:01:19 PM , Rating: 1
Rofl u two made my day!

RE: First!
By mfed3 on 5/12/2010 5:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
please permanently ban this idiot

RE: First!
By Jeffk464 on 5/12/2010 9:01:33 PM , Rating: 2
which idiot.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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