This week sees the arrival of the ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Community Edition (CE), a free-to-use edition of its reference software development toolkit. The new edition has been "dedicated" to the Android application developer community; as such, it has been engineered to help create native software that can run up to four times faster than Java code.
DS-5 CE joins ARM's standard SDK and NDK Android development kits by guiding developers towards the "performance and energy-efficiency advantages" made possible when ARM native code is used in Android applications. The new toolkit permits development of Java and C/C++ code in the same Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE).
ARM says that the DS-5 Community Edition includes limited (but essential) functionality from the premium DS-5 toolkit to help solve common Android application developer pain points. It achieves this by providing an integrated graphical debugger for NDK-generated code and visibility of advanced processor information, including ARM NEON Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) registers.
This new release also features a tailored version of the ARM Streamline Performance Analyzer for use with compatible Android development platforms. Streamline (a branded product name) is designed to capture system-wide performance statistics from a variety of sources, which helps developers to locate hotspots in their code and isolate potential causes. Platform builders can add support for Streamline by integrating an open source driver available from the Linaro website.
"With over half a million apps on the Android market today, developers need to deliver an outstanding user experience to succeed commercially," said John Cornish, executive vice president and general manager, system design division, ARM. "ARM DS-5 Community Edition offers developers an easy to use environment for debugging and optimizing C/C++ code. This allows them to take full advantage of ARM processor technology using native code to deliver the performance and functionality that consumers demand."