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ARM Unveils Juno Platform for 64-Bit Android Development

The small development computer is aimed at accelerating the creation of 64-bit applications for ARM's 64-bit SoC architecture.


ARM and an open-source vendor consortium are looking to accelerate the adoption of 64-bit Android applications on upcoming mobile devices that will run an upcoming version of Google's mobile operating system.

ARM and Linaro, which is driving the development of open-source applications on ARM's chip architecture, is rolling out a hardware development platform, code-named Juno, which will run a 64-bit port of Android to enable developers and ecosystem partners to write software and tools for the upcoming Android-based tablets and smartphones.

The July 2 announcement comes a week after Google at its developer conference announced the Android L Development Preview edition, which among other enhancements includes support for 64-bit APIs.

ARM is making a significant push into the 64-bit computing space with its new ARMv8-A architecture. Much of the attention has been on ARM's efforts to expand into the server space and challenge Intel, but the chip designer dominates the mobile device space, and 64-bit capabilities will be important for fending off any competition from Intel in that market.

With Juno, ARM officials are looking to fuel the development of 64-bit Android applications for these devices.

"The ARM ecosystem is rapidly preparing for the benefits a 64-bit ARM architecture will bring to devices starting this year," James McNiven, general manager of systems and software at ARM, said in a statement. "Our collaboration with Linaro will enable our partners to create devices that will drive the best next-generation mobile experience on 64-bit Android operating systems, while also providing full compatibility with today's 32-bit mobile ecosystem that is optimized on ARM-v7A."

Developing a piece of hardware is a departure of sorts for ARM, which makes its money mostly by designing systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) and licensing those designs to chip makers like Qualcomm, Samsung, Texas Instruments and Advanced Micro Devices. Juno, which is essentially a small computer, will include an SoC that includes a quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU and dual-core Cortex A57 CPU in a configuration that leverages ARM's big.Little architecture, which offers organizations high performance or high energy efficiency, depending on the workload.

The SoC also will include a quad-core Mali GPU from ARM as well as the company's CoreLink and Artisan technologies. The platform also will include ARM's reference software stack for the ARMv8-A architecture.

Along with the announcement of Juno, Linaro officials also delivered the 14.06 release of the Linaro software, which includes the porting of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) to the ARMv8-A architecture. This will give developers access to a 64-bit and 32-bit AOSP file system, according to Linaro officials.