Qualcomm makes ROM development easier by releasing Adreno graphics drivers for Ice Cream Sandwich


A few days ago, we looked at a helpful flowchart from the CyanogenMod custom ROM team that helps you find out if your device will get the version of CyanogenMod based on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Usually, CyanogenMod's developers have to wait on manufacturers to release hardware drivers and OS updates in order to build quality ROMs, which is why devices where the manufacturer releases an official Ice Cream Sandwich build have the highest likelihood of getting an unofficial ROM. However, if you have a Qualcomm Snapdragon device with an Adreno processor, this should no longer be as much of a problem.

Over the weekend, Qualcomm released the Ice Cream Sandwich drivers for all Qualcomm Adreno 2 series GPUs, including those for the new S4 processor and Adreno 225 GPU. Various legacy drivers were also released, such as those for the dual-core processor found in the HTC Sensation and other S3 chips. Having access to this wealth of information will make porting Ice Cream Sandwich to older Qualcomm devices much easier, and should provide avenues of improvement for existing ROMs as well. In fact, just about any recent Snapdragon-based smartphone has a much higher chance of getting a good Ice Cream Sandwich ROM than it did just a few weeks ago.

Even beyond current devices, this new openness will hopefully translate into the future as well. If Qualcomm continues to release the drivers for their hardware, it will make ROM development much easier on their platform, and perhaps even provide an incentive for Android developers to purchase Qualcomm devices. Hopefully, Qualcomm will then be able to influence others like Samsung to release more drivers as well, but the immediate fruit of the decision is that Qualcomm devices could be getting unofficial Ice Cream Sandwich any day now.

[Android Community]
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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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