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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 5/12/2010 9:40:31 AM , Rating: 0
Incredible yet... one thing that is funny is that people that get things right at the first time will never be able to achieve this kind of performance increase.

It's like, what should we think? Should we think the developers are amazing for pulling this kind of improvement or should we think they are awful for doing something so bad in the first place?




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.


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