Android has been largely designed and developed on the ARM architecture since its early years. However, the recent policy of ARM has led to Google’s unsafe approaches and the search for new alternatives. The RISC-V architecture is a fully open source architecture with no licensing fees.
Chinese major companies and third-party developers have been working on adapting Android for RISC-V for about 3 years. The engineering director of Android stated at his January 2023 conference that he wants to make RISC-V architecture the first choice for Android. He also stated that he does not want the problems that occurred when Android was adapted to X86 to occur with RISC-V and that the full-fledged development process continues.
Currently, Google prefers RISC-V in the Titan M2 security chipset, uses in the Pixel 6 and 7 series. Presumably, Google will officially include RISC-V support in AOSP codes with Android 15. Perhaps this architecture, which some have heard about for the first time, has made great strides today. The SiFive P670 chipset, which is based on the RISC-V instruction set, operates 2 times more efficiently than the ARM Cortex-A78 cores and has similar computing power.
Nowadays, ARM is rethinking its financial policy and therefore it is putting high-end chipset manufacturers such as MediaTek, Qualcomm into concern. It is quite possible that manufacturers will have difficulties and not prefer ARM architecture due to increased license fees, restrictions and many other factors. That’s why Google closely follows and supports the development of this instruction set.
RISC architecture, which stands for “reduced instruction set computer”, contains fewer instructions and operates with simpler logic compared to its competitors such as X86 and ARM. The biggest advantage of the reduced instruction set architecture is that its energy efficiency is much better compared to ARM.