Sony Ericsson confirms unchanged kernel for Android 4.0 ICS release

by XB on 5th January 2012

in Android, Firmware

Android LinuxSony Ericsson Developer Karl-Johan Dahlström has confirmed that the company’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update will use the same linux kernel that it is currently using for existing software. The Xperia Android 2.3.4 software is using the 2.6.32 linux kernel (as is the alpha ICS ROM from Sony Ericsson) and it was hoped that the final ICS update would use a newer kernel

For those unaware, the kernel sits between the hardware and the rest of the software stack. Android relies on the kernel for services such as security, memory/power/processor management, network stack, and the driver model. The Sony Ericsson linux kernel has been superseded by newer versions such as 2.6.35, 2.6.39 or even 3.0. The advantage of a newer kernel is the introduction of new features and optimisations.

Dahlström said that the main reason the kernel will remain unchanged is that Sony Ericsson wanted to release ICS as quickly as possible. Here’s what he had to say over at xda-developers: “It is rather quick to get a new kernel up and running, but it takes a lot of testing and validation to make it stable and run with the modem, get a good battery performance etc. Quite some effort has been put in to the Sony Ericsson 2.6.32 kernel, to make it as stable and reliable as possible for the 8255 platform, and we do not feel that the user benefit of a new kernel would justify a later release date.

What is not clear from that statement is whether an updated linux kernel is planned post the ICS Xperia update. We applaud Sony Ericsson for trying to get ICS out as quickly as possible for Xperia users, however with other prominent Android manufacturers using more up-to-date kernels for their ICS builds, we hope Sony Ericsson follows suit in due course.

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