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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