One of the most amazing developments in the last few years has been the explosion in mobile gaming. Not so long ago, if you wanted to while away the time playing a game on your phone there were not many options. Angry Birds was probably the most complex. Today you can play Call of Duty, Minecraft, or even World Cricket Championship on your Android device. Increasingly, complex graphics capabilities such as 3D are being incorporated in these apps to ensure that the mobile experience matches that available on game consoles.
As new versions of the Android platform are rolled out, developers face the task of porting their applications to these new versions. Synopsys’ Virtualizer Development Kits (VDKs) provide software developers with a fast, efficient, platform to carry out these tasks for Arm-based devices.
Just recently, the Arm v8-based VDK added a significant enhancement with support for Android 11. This enables application developers and middleware providers to port and test existing applications. They can also bring up new applications for that version of the popular platform.
A key aspect of these activities is ensuring that the graphics capabilities work as expected. For that reason, the graphics performance of the VDK is a significant factor in enabling a fast and efficient debug flow. The Arm v8-base VDK supports this requirement by providing various options for graphics rendering. For applications with less demanding graphics capabilities software rendering with Swiftshader will likely provide a good solution. For applications that demand more heavy lifting in the graphics department the VDK provides the option to use Arm's Generic Graphics Accelerator (GGA) capabilities. This allows the offloading of graphical tasks to the host machines GPU, significantly boosting the performance of graphical operations.
Of course, it is not only the graphics capability that is important here. Developers also need access to tools that enable them to delve into the code when things go wrong. For Android applications the go-to tool for such occurrences is the Android Debug Bridge (ADB). The Arm v8-base VDK supports connections to the ABD through the Ethernet device in the platform. This features Real World Ethernet, allowing connections to ADB running either on the host machine or on a remote machine.
This gives the developer the ability to extract vital information from the VDK such as Android activity logs. These provide debug information to diagnose system crashes or obtain information on the activity of your installed applications. The ADB push and pull commands also provide a great way to transfer files between your host machine and Android running in the VDK. You can also use it to install and uninstall applications on your Android system.
The same Ethernet connectivity enables other debug options such as gdbserver, allowing you to use GDB to remotely debug your Android system. With this capability, you can perform full source-level debugging of your system applications and daemons. GDB can be run either on your host machine or on a remote machine.
Get a taste of what Synopsys Arm VDKs can do by accessing our Virtual Prototyping Experience here:
Learn how Synopsys Virtual Prototyping technology is boosting software development productivity in the automotive sector by attending our technical session at Arm DevSummit: Pre-silicon Automotive SW Development with Renesas R-Car Virtual Prototype