It looks like our earlier reports that a JIT compiler was coming soon to Android have come true. Ian Douglas, a developer at Armor Games, has posted some screens for the popular benchmark app Linpack running on Android 2.2 which indicates a large performance boost. A normal stock Nexus One generates a benchmark score of 6-7 MFLOPS, while the same Nexus running Android 2.2 is able to score 38-40 MFLOPS.
Some of these higher Linpack scores have appeared on their Top 10 list for awhile, but this is one of the first times I’ve seen a screen shot. We believe Google’s team is close to releasing a stable version of the Dalvik JIT compiler because two of them (Ben Cheng and Bill Buzbee) will be outlining their work at Google I/O in a session called “A JIT Compiler for Android’s Dalvik VM“.
Even though these tests were run on a Nexus One, the new JIT compiler should offer a performance boost to all Android phones that are updated to Android 2.2. The benchmarks might be impressive, but only time will tell how they translate into real world performance. Most apps will have to be tested and tuned to take advantage of the new compiler so it could be several months before we see the full benefits of this update.
Stay tuned next week for the rest of this story.