Google announces official support for Android RISC-V

Google has officially announced that Android will support the RISC-V instruction set architecture. The announcement comes from the RISC-V summit held last month.

For those unfamiliar, RISC-V is the reduced instruction set Computer V architecture – an open, free standard with no licenses or royalties. Essentially, it’s a competitor to the ARM and x86 architectures on which companies can build chipsets. Especially companies that aim to manufacture processors at a lower cost or reduce their reliance on designs from ARM, Intel or AMD.

Google announces official support for Android RISC-V

At the moment you can download a very limited version of Android for RISC-V, but it does not support Android Runtime (ART) for Java workloads. The majority of Android applications are delivered in Java code, which means that currently almost no application supports RISC-V on Android. However, Google says official emulator support will be available soon, while ART support is expected to arrive during the first quarter.

Once ART support arrives, it will more or less translate Java for RISC-V, so most Android apps should work with no extra effort from developers.

Android Engineering Director Lars Bergstrom addressed the RISC-V Summit stage saying he wanted it to be considered a “Tier 1 platform” in Android.

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