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Gingerbread to JellyBean:Satisfying a Mobile Processors Insatiable Appetite for the Latest Android Flavor

A leading multi-core mobile processor vendor serving the smartphone and tablet market faces a unique competitive challenge: upgrading and optimizing newly released Android and Linux software for its mobile platform every six months. New Android releases offer consumers the latest features and capabilities, but the generic open-sourced Android software must first be customized and verified for the unique hardware design of each processor.

The processor vendor asked Infotech Enterprises to own the software migration process, challenging Infotech to beat the industry

standard migration timeline, while also meeting all requirements for power management and battery life on the customers hardware platform.

Infotechs innovative and aggressive development team met the challenge. They delivered a verified, stable software optimization for the latest Android/Linux release, shaving a critical 2.5 weeks off the expected migration schedule. This enabled the customer to deliver its hardware/software platform to its customer on time, a critical competitive advantage in the fast moving smartphone/tablet market.


Case Study

How Infotech Worked Leveraging a two-and-a-half year team augmentation relationship with the processor vendor, Infotech developed expert knowledge and critical experience collaborating with the customers internal engineering team on several earlier Android/Linux migrations. For the most recent migration cycleusing Androids latest version, JellyBean, with Linux 3.4the customer assigned total ownership of this critical project to Infotechs Center of Excellence in Bangalore, India.

As soon as the latest Android/Linux release became available, Infotech had an experienced development team staffed and prepared for project execution. With considerable experience acquired on

previous migrations, the Infotech team was able to pre-empt potential implementation delays. Infotech team leaders developed an extensive database documenting all known issues and obstacles, which enabled systematic resolution of migration challenges. This database also eased the integration of new team members into the project without unnecessary delay.

With time-to-market a critical success metric for this customer, Infotech divided the project into several sub-teams to handle various components of the software stack migration (Kernel, drivers, middleware etc.). Each sub-team was able to work in parallel, significantly reducing development time for the entire project.

Based on prior migration projects, Infotech developed an extensive database documenting all known migration issues and obstacles, which enabled efficient, systematic resolution of migration challenges.

The smartphone industry races to bring their latest handsets to consumers every six months. Infotechs team helps to prevent any delays or flaws in this process, ensuring our customers can capture market share quickly and cost-effectively.

The ChallengeOne of the worlds top five semiconductor companies faces an ongoing strategic challenge to maintain and increase its market share as a provider of ARM-based microprocessors for the global smartphone/tablet market. Hugely popular, rapidly growing and technically dynamic, the smartphone market is characterized by fierce competition and significant profit margins reserved only for the leading processor vendors.

Defending or increasing market share in this multi-million unit global consumer market requires processor vendors to offer a complete hardware and software package that incorporates all of the latest features. Consumers are constantly educated about the latest features and capabilities through massive advertising budgets, and product preferences can be easily re-directed to the latest thing in mobile smartphones and tablets. Product life cycles are correspondingly compressed, with individual smartphone / tablet models replaced on an annual or semi-annual basis. Last years model is simply not good enough for todays consumer.

Using the Android operating system running on a Linux Kernelthe market leading O/S for smartphonesthe customer must migrate and optimize the O/S software for its processor whenever a new version of Android is released. In the highly competitive smartphone market, a new Android O/Swith new features and new capabilitiesis released every

six months on average. This compels the processor vendor to continually meet a relentless schedule of software migration and optimization.

The amount of software embedded in a modern smartphone is staggering. It includes a complex software stack that incorporates the Android O/S and associated Linux Kernel, plus a variety of software applications and drivers for various interfaces and hardware services, like HDMI, Bluetooth, USB, memory, cameras and more. This entire software stack must be migrated and verified every time Android or Linux undergoes an upgrade cyclewhile also maintaining backward compatibility with previous versions of Android and Linux. An Android version release can incorporate in excess of seven million lines of new code that require hardware optimization and verification.

In order to maintain and enhance market share, a processor vendor must deliver a Board Support Package (BSP) that marries their unique hardware with a complete and proven Android/Linux software stack. This BSP is delivered to multiple smartphone OEM and ODM developers who, in turn, design and deliver their completed smartphone handsets to telco carriers worldwide. The entire smartphone value chain races to bring their latest handsets to consumers every six months. Any delay and any flaw can be fatal to market share and brand reputation for players throughout the value chain.

HiTech NAMInfotech Enterprises America, Inc. 1190 Saratoga AvenueSuite 110 San Jose, CA 95129Tel: +1 408 213 0370

HiTech EMEA Infotech Enterprises GmbHLeonberg, GermanyTel: +49 7152 94520

HiTech APACInfotech Enterprises Australia Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Tel: +61 3 8676 0713

Global HeadquartersInfotech Enterprises LimitedInfocity, Madhapur, Hyderabad, IndiaTel: +91 40 2311 0357

Australia | Canada | France | Germany | India | Japan | Malaysia | Netherlands | New Zealand | Norway | Singapore | South Korea | Sweden | Switzerland | UAE | UK | USA

Case Study

Leveraging its considerable experience in mobile platform migration, Infotech was able to complete the Kernel migration in 2.5 weeks, a 50% reduction in the industry standard five week timeline.

The Solution By utilizing a parallel development track, its internal task and issue data base, and exploiting its considerable experience in mobile platform migration, Infotech was able to complete the Kernel migration in 2.5 weeks, a 50% reduction in the industry standard five week timeline.

Most importantly, this significant time-to-market advantage did not adversely impact other important design goals for the migration. In addition to producing a stable and verified software optimization for the processor hardware, the migration met the power budget guidelines required by the customers customers (i.e. the smartphone and tablet manufacturers) for the latest Android version, JellyBean. This allowed the customer to deliver a hardware/software smartphone platform that achieves critical design requirements for battery life. The latest optimization also required the Infotech team to migrate and optimize the multimedia application software from OpenCore to StageFright, Androids latest software version for handling audio and video. And these optimizations were achieved while maintaining backward compatibility with Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread, earlier versions of Android.

As a result of shaving 2.5 weeks off of the expected migration time line, the customer was able to deliver their mobile processor platform to smartphone manufacturers and design houses on time, which, in turn,

enabled telco carriers to unveil their new consumer handsets on a very competitive schedule. Consumers were able to enjoy smartphones with higher resolution screens (1080p) and faster frame rates (30fps), enhanced security, reduced touch latency and other features incorporated into the latest Android/Linux version release.

More than seven smartphone and tablet designs from three manufacturers have been released in the first six months after Infotechs successful migration of Android/Linux to the customers processor platform. As further evidence of a successfully executed migration, Infotechs customer also relied on Infotech engineers to work directly with end customer design teams to implement individual handset programs. Infotech continues to provide on-going software support for platform designers.

By leveraging its highly experienced software development team, Infotech Enterprises was able to enhance this customers strategic position in the highly competitive mobile processor market. By reducing the migration timeline for the latest Android/Linux software release, the customer exceeded expectations amongst their customers for availability of a complete, stable hardware/software solution for next-generation smartphones. Finally, using Infotech resources freed up several customer engineers for utilization on other programs inside the company.