ARM has released a new tool for Android application developers, the ARM Development Studio 5 Community Edition, a free version of its reference software development toolkit.
This new edition of ARM Development Studio helps the Android application developer community create native software for compute-intensive tasks that can run up to four times faster than Java code, ARM officials said. DS-5 CE complements the standard software development kit (SDK) and native development kit (NDK) Android development kits by providing a set of tools to help them leverage the performance and energy-efficiency advantages made possible when ARM native code is used in Android applications, the company said.
"With over half a million apps on the Android market today, developers need to deliver an outstanding user experience to succeed commercially," John Cornish, executive vice president and general manager of the system design division at ARM, said in a statement. "ARM DS-5 Community Edition offers developers an easy-to-use environment for debugging and optimizing C/C++ code. This allows them to take full advantage of ARM processor technology using native code to deliver the performance and functionality that consumers demand."
The ARM DS-5 Community Edition includes limited, but key functionality from the premium DS-5 toolkit to help solve common Android application developer pain points. It achieves this by providing an integrated graphical debugger for NDK-generated code and visibility of advanced processor information, including ARM NEON Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) registers. The new toolkit permits development of Java and C/C++ code in the same Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) to maximize productivity and ease of use.
"The release of ARM DS-5 Community Edition is welcomed by Orange and solves some of the pain points of Android native apps developers," Yves Christol, head of the Advanced Software Centre in the devices unit at Orange, said in a statement.
"We have been using DS-5 extensively for system level debugging and performance tuning," Duan ZhiQiang, CTO of Thundersoft, said in a statement. "With the release of the Community Edition, it will enable our ISV and IHV partners to access similar capabilities, improving our platform as an application development target and expanding its ecosystem."
DS-5 Community Edition also features a tailored version of the ARM Streamline Performance Analyzer for use with compatible Android development platforms. Streamline captures system-wide performance statistics from a variety of sources, which helps developers to locate hotspots in their code and isolate potential causes. Platform builders can add support for Streamline by integrating an open-source driver available from the Linaro Website.
"The community edition of DS-5 (DS-5 CE) will further reduce the barriers to open-source development on ARM," Alexander Sack, platform technical director at Linaro, said in a statement. "We have worked closely with ARM to ensure that DS-5 support is available as an easy-to-install add-on for Linaro Ubuntu images in the past and are working together to deliver a similar convenient developer experience for DS-5 CE as part of our Android images. This initiative will help users of the community edition take full advantage of Linaro optimized images."
The DS-5 CE is available free for use by individuals and organizations with annual revenue of $100,000 or less and up to 10 employees. DS-5 CE is available from ARM and can be downloaded now. For more information go to http://www.arm.com/ds5community.