Qualcomm Technologies and Google announced their collaboration to enhance and extend Project Treble with the goal of enabling more devices with Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ mobile platforms to run the latest Android OS. The enhancements are intended to enable Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to upgrade their Snapdragon-based devices to the latest Android OS without modifying Qualcomm Technologies’ chipset-specific software and to use a common Android software branch to upgrade devices based on a wide range of Snapdragon mobile platforms across Qualcomm Technologies’ portfolio. These enhancements are designed to reduce the time and resources required to upgrade Snapdragon-based devices to the latest Android OS version.
As part of this collaboration with Google, Qualcomm Technologies will now support four Android OS versions and four years of security updates for all Snapdragon platforms utilizing the Project Treble enhancements, starting with the new Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform. These initiatives are designed to enable faster Android OS upgrades with fewer resources and a predictable software lifecycle for Snapdragon-based devices, which together are expected to result in more consumers with Snapdragon-based devices running the latest Android OS version.
Project Treble was an ambitious re-architecture of Android that created a split between the OS framework and device-specific low-level software (called the vendor implementation) through a well-defined, stable vendor interface. As a part of this split, the Android OS framework guarantees backward compatibility with the vendor implementation, which is checked through a standardized compliance test suite – VTS. With each Android release, Project Treble publishes Generic System Images (GSIs) that are built from AOSP sources, and are guaranteed to be backward-compatible with the previous 3 versions of vendor implementations, in addition of course to the current release—for a total span of four years. Devices launching with the new Android release must have vendor implementations compatible with that GSI. This is the primary vehicle for reducing fragmentation within the OS framework. While we allow and encourage our partners to modify the framework itself, the modifications post-Treble must be done in a way that reduces upgrade costs from one version to the next.