LVC21F-306 AOSP Currency

Session Abstract

Through the Generic System Image effort, and the more recent Generic Kernel Image effort, a lot of work has been done in Android to make it easier to update devices to newer releases. This was mostly done by formalizing the HAL interfaces and having Android support multiple older versions of the HALs, so devices didn't need costly HAL updates in order to run the newer Android releases. This has been quite successful, and has made it much easier to update devices. But something we've seen with AOSP devboards, is that this flexibility in framework to support multiple HALs adds complexity, and makes it less clear as to when moving to a new HAL is needed, and what new functionality new HAL versions require. While a few vendors can commit teams of developers to maintain and update each HAL, its a lot harder for small teams or individuals to keep up. And while documentation for android application development is quite robust, documentation for device development is much more sparse. Level: Intermediate This talk will cover some of the difficulties we have seen with devboards in keeping up with the latest versions of AOSP, share our ideas for improvements, and open the floor to discuss some other opportunities to make deploying a new Android device easier, and less costly.

Session Speakers

John Stultz

Linaro Consumer Group - AOSP devboards and Kernel developer (Linaro)

AOSP devboard and Kernel developer

Through the Generic System Image effort, and the more recent Generic Kernel Image effort, a lot of work has been done in Android to make it easier to update devices to newer releases. This was mostly done by formalizing the HAL interfaces and having Android support multiple older versions of the HALs, so devices didn’t need costly HAL updates in order to run the newer Android releases.

This has been quite successful, and has made it much easier to update devices. But something we’ve seen with AOSP devboards, is that this flexibility in framework to support multiple HALs adds complexity, and makes it less clear as to when moving to a new HAL is needed, and what new functionality new HAL versions require.

While a few vendors can commit teams of developers to maintain and update each HAL, its a lot harder for small teams or individuals to keep up. And while documentation for android application development is quite robust, documentation for device development is much more sparse.

Level: Intermediate This talk will cover some of the difficulties we have seen with devboards in keeping up with the latest versions of AOSP, share our ideas for improvements, and open the floor to discuss some other opportunities to make deploying a new Android device easier, and less costly.

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