ARM - The Architecture For The Digital World
The Architecture For The Digital World

Getting Started with Android on ARM

Getting Started with Android on ARM Image
Android is a robust software stack that includes an operating system, middleware and select applications.

Android is developed and maintained as an open source project by Google with contributions from members of the Open Handset AllianceExternal Site (OHA), including ARM.

Android has been designed and built for the ARM architecture, and continues to be the primary development platform of the OHA with hundreds of companies contributing to the Android on ARM codebase.


Quick Links to Google Android for ARM

Android HomeExternal Site

Android Platform Developer's Guide

SDK for Java based Application DevelopmentExternal Site

NDK for Native ARM Application DevelopmentExternal Site

Android for ARM Source CodeExternal Site

The best source for Android on ARM is directly from Google’s own Android websiteExternal Site. Here you will find links to various resources, references, development kits and the raw ARM sources for the Android project.

Android development on ARM is divided into two categories, application development and OS porting to various ARM based SoCs and boards.

There are two development kits for Android applications. The first is the SDK, or Software Development KitExternal Site, which is a Java development environment that produces applications intended to run in the Android Dalvik Java VM. The Dalvik runtime environment has been heavily optimized for the ARM architecture, including an ARM targeted Just-in-time (JIT) compiler, utilizing the latest ARMv7 architectural features.

The second development kit is the NDK, or Native Development KitExternal Site. The NDK augments the SDK for the creation of native ARM code used in timing sensitive or performance critical applications.

Creating a new “port” of Android to a custom ARM based SoC or development board requires the Android platform sources. The Android sources are made up of a collection of git repositories consisting of unique Android open source projects as well as readily available external projects. Google has created a tool called “repo” to manage the numerous git repositories that make up the full platform. Getting started with repo and the Android sources is simple and well documented on the Android sources portalExternal Site.

Begin developing and innovating today with Android on ARM. A number of both vendor and community supported Android projects are available for a wide range of ARM based SoCs.

Silicon Vendor SoC ARM Core Project Location Notes


Development Chips


ARM Cortex-A

Linux-arm.orgExternal Site

Includes latest ARM kernel patches and drivers for various ARM development boards. Kernel patches are validated with both Android and the ARM Linux Internet Platform for immediate Android support of ALIP ports.

Texas Instruments

OMAP4430 Cortex-A9 PandaBoard: First open OMAP™ 4 mobile software development platform includes a Dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ with Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) at 1 GHz each. Allows for 150% performance increase over previous ARM Cortex-A8 cores.

Texas Instruments


ARM Cortex-A8

Google.comExternal Site

Includes support for popular Beagle board and EVM platforms.

Texas Instruments


ARM Cortex-A8

onARM.comExternal Site

Reuse ALIP BSP for EVM, Beagle and Zoom2.


Tegra 250

ARM Cortex-A9

nVidia.comExternal Site




ARM Cortex-A8

odroid.comExternal Site
(hardkernel.comExternal Site)

Projects target ODROID and ODROID-T device platforms.

Freescale Semiconductor


ARM Cortex-A8

Freescale.comExternal Site



EMMA Mobile 1x


Renesas.comExternal Site



EMMA Mobile EVx

ARM Cortex-A9

Coming Soon…




ARM Cortex-A8

ZiiLabs.comExternal Site


Please note that access to some of the content listed below is subject to acceptance of licensing terms. Please read the project sites closely before accessing software content.
The SCA is a good place to find partners to assist with your Android porting and customization efforts, including some of the following partners.

Partners With Software Solutions

AceThought Acrodea Adaptive_Digital American_Megatrends APT_Licensing ArcherMind B_Labs CouthIT Datalight Discretix SCA_Dolby_Labs eflow eSOL Fluffy_Spider Haansoft Intrinsyc linutronix MontaVista Open_Kernel_Labs Picus_Tech QSound_Labs Tatvik_Technologies Technical_SolutionsSCA_Thunder_Software TMC Trusted_Logic Ubiquitous VisualOn VMware