As always, thanks for visiting us at QuickLogic HotSpots. The steadily growing traffic we see is very encouraging, and we hope you find this useful. Now onto business…
Following up today’s press release on Android 3.0 support…
The jump from Android 2.3 (or 2.2, as my phone stubbornly refuses to relinquish–here’s looking at you, AT&T!) to Android 3.0 was a major one, in terms of functionality, usability, user interface, and other factors. Anytime there is a revision in an OS, there is always the risk in forward-compatibility. In order to remain confident in our products ability to support new OS versions, we test each version as soon as we are able to do so.
Our ArcticLink II VX CSSP chips are tightly integrated into the OS. Some specific reasons on how this is so, and why we always confirm compatibility:
- VEE operates most effectively when aware of the ambient lighting viewing environment the user is in. It gathers this information through values given off by the ambient light sensor (quick note: the ALS is typically located at the top of your phone/tablet, on some systems hidden beneath the black bezel that borders the screen, on others clearly visible usually next to the forward facing camera). While we can read this value directly from the ALS, Android offers the ability to store the value and notify on-board technologies of changes. The Android method is the most power-friendly method–we’re all about power savings–so we recommend this approach to our OEMs. Any change to how Android does this would force us to modify the drivers we provide for our chips. Not being able to communicate with the OS or ALS would cause quite the issue.
- DPO involves modifying the display brightness for ambient light conditions to save power. There is a standard ambient light correction (ALC) algorithm in Android that is not much more than a simple chart that says as ambient light increases, display brightness increases. ALC is not a competitor to DPO, as it is something that has been on smartphones since day 1–the power savings numbers we publish assume the presence of ALC in the “without VEE/DPO” measurements. DPO essentially replaces ALC with a much more aggressive curve, working with its sister technology VEE (without VEE and DPO, this more-aggressive curve would produce extremely unfavorable viewing results). However, DPO resides on our CSSP device, which means that we have to always be communicating with the OS in specific ways. Those specific ways need to be verified, or else power savings wouldn’t be seen.
- Drivers…the CPU and OS need to communicate with our chips for the reasons mentioned above, along with other communication and control needs. Those drivers reside at specific levels in the Android software build–we need to verify that those levels are still accurate.
- Software…the user-level MDDO software we offer to customers is highly dependent on specific things being in certain places in Android. This is common to all command and control software in any OS. Obviously, we need to confirm all the right buttons and knobs operate the right things, are accurate, and repeatable.
Now onto 3.1, 3.2, and beyond!