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Group debuts open source Android benchmark

March 15, 2012 // Rick Merritt

Group debuts open source Android benchmark

A new open source benchmark aims to give engineers and end users a way to measure the performance of Android-based systems. The Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) released its AndEBench metric as an app on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore for Android.

AndEBench scores integer performance of a basket of tasks both on the native Android environment and on its Dalvik Java virtual machine. The jobs include a mix of state machine routines, cyclic redundancy checks and matrix multiply operations, but no floating point tasks.

The benchmark can be set to test a system with a single or a multiple core processor. The app provides binary code for testing ARM, MIPS or Intel Atom x86 cores.

A working group including engineers from ARM, Dell, Freescsale, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments defined the benchmark and have already done internal tests with it.

In its only public test to date, AndEBench was run on an Amazon Kindle Fire and a low cost Android tablet, the Velocity Micro T301 Cruz. The Kindle Fore scored 1,370 and 2,720 iterations per second respectively for single and dual core operation and 94 and 145 interactions/second in Java. The Cruz tablet which uses a single MIPS core scored 470 native and 17 Java interations/s.

“We hope to get a community going where people can post their scores and we will start a nice little war with it,” said Markus Levy, president of EEMBC.

The group envisions future versions of the benchmark that could test a range of functions including OS layer calls, graphics, audio, networking, floating
point and SIMD functions.

A variety of other Android benchmarks are already in use, but none use open source code so programmers can see exactly what they are doing, said Levy.

“There’s a variety of them, and there are probably some that are decent, but you can’t really tell,” said Levy. “They look cool on the screen and may do some graphics functions but there’s no way to know for sure how they optimize the code or what architecture they may favor,” he said.

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