Success in the mobile and consumer device market depends on a vibrant software ecosystem. Over the past decade the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) has become one of the top operating systems for phones, tablets and a variety of other mobile devices. Today we are happy to share that the upstream enablement of RISC-V has started within AOSP. In order to celebrate this truly global community effort, let us take a closer look at the work to date and plans to expand and accelerate continued development of AOSP on RISC-V.
In 2020, engineers and software developers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ PLCT Lab began to port Android 10 to the RISC-V architecture in an effort to open this important ecosystem to the RISC-V community. Since the early days of the effort, the Alibaba Cloud division has been a close collaborator and leader in this pioneering work and has kept the development current with newer Android versions.
“We are glad to see more support from Google for building AOSP targeting RISC-V! Alibaba Cloud has been committed to supporting the RISC-V community through a series of innovations, such as progressing the porting of basic Android functions onto RISC-V, which proves the feasibility of using RISC-V based devices in scenarios ranging from multimedia to signal processing, device interconnection, and artificial intelligence. We look forward to engaging with the Android team to contribute to the thriving RISC-V community down the road,” said Dr. David Chen, Director of Ecosystem from Alibaba Cloud and Vice Chair of the Applications & Tools Horizontal Committee at RISC-V International.
“RISC-V has grown in popularity through the sheer demand for flexibility and choice across the full spectrum of computing, from the smallest embedded devices to the largest scale out cloud implementations,” said Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International. “This demand has made RISC-V inevitable as the most prolific open standard ISA of our time, accelerating innovation and adoption with the strongest ecosystem of global stakeholders.”
Throughout 2021, engineers at Alibaba Cloud undertook a massive effort to directly support the software ecosystem by further expanding the core functionality of Android on RISC-V. To read more about Alibaba Cloud’s leadership and history of technical contributions to make AOSP on RISC-V a reality, check out the following blog notes:
- Alibaba’s T-Head Releases Open Source Android 10 Port for RISC-V Chips (December 2020)
- How Alibaba is Porting RISC-V to the Android OS (November 2021)
- Alibaba Cloud Announced Progress in Porting Android Functions onto RISC-V (April 2022)
- Progress in Porting Android onto RISC-V: Android 12 Upgrade, Vendor Modules and TensorFlow Lite (July 2022)
- Alibaba Cloud Unveils RISC-V Chip Development Platform (August 2022)
“Adoption of RISC-V relies on the breadth and quality of the available software solutions. By bringing Android to RISC-V, we extend RISC-V to support a wide range of consumer-centric use cases ranging from mobile to in-car entertainment. We also can’t understate the importance that Android has gained as a platform for consumer and professional device development, ranging from control panels in home automation to video conferencing hardware. We are grateful to Alibaba Cloud for their ongoing efforts in making RISC-V a first-class platform for Android and I am very excited at seeing these contributions being adopted upstream by AOSP, summarized Dr. Philipp Tomsich, Chief Technologist at VRULL and Chair of the Applications & Tools Horizontal Committee at RISC-V International.
To contribute to the efforts behind RISC-V on Android please join our Android Working Group and visit the repo.
About RISC-V International
RISC-V International is the non-profit home of the open standard RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), related specifications, and stakeholder community. More than 3,100 RISC-V members across 70 countries contribute and collaborate to define RISC-V open specifications as well as convene and govern related technical, industry, domain, and special interest groups. RISC-V combines a modular technical approach with an open license model — meaning that anyone, anywhere can benefit from the IP contributed and produced by RISC-V. RISC-V enables the community to share technical investment, contribute to the strategic future, create more rapidly, enjoy unprecedented design freedom, and collaborate on innovation. To learn more, visit www.riscv.org.