Understanding CodeLinaro's Android: What is CLO/CAF and How It Differs from  AOSP

Understanding CodeLinaro's Android: What is CLO/CAF and How It Differs from AOSP

CodeLinaro's Android (CLO), previously known as CodeAurora (CAF), isn't a whole new operating system like Android or iOS that you'd use on your phone. Instead, it's more like a toolbox for people who make phones and software. If basic Android is like the building blocks of a house, then CodeLinaro's Android is like the special tools and materials that help builders add extra cool features to their houses.

It's especially helpful for phones and devices that use Qualcomm chips. CodeLinaro's Android ensures those chips work smoothly with Android and can do extra things that regular Android might not be able to do. However, the really cool features on your phone usually come from the phone maker adding their own special touches on top of CodeLinaro's Android.


CLO is maintained by Linaro, a non-profit organization that plays a key role in developing software for ARM processors, which power many smartphones and other devices. They focus on the foundational software that runs close to the hardware, ensuring smooth operation of features like graphics and battery life. By fostering collaboration between industry leaders and open-source communities, Linaro helps create standardized, high-quality software that benefits everyone from device manufacturers to end users. Their efforts lead to faster development cycles, reduced fragmentation in the software landscape, and a more robust ecosystem for ARM technology.

How is CLO different from Android?


AOSP, or Android Open Source Project, is the main version of Android that provides the complete source code. It allows developers and manufacturers to build and customize their own versions of Android. This project includes the operating system itself, along with the core apps, libraries, and development tools needed to create Android-based devices.

It's the more generic version of Android, focusing on all types of devices and architectures. AOSP always stays ahead in terms of features with four major releases: one major Android release and three QPR (Quarterly Platform Releases), along with monthly security patches.


On the other hand, CLO primarily focuses on optimizing software for ARM processors, specifically for Snapdragon processors, and contributes to a wide range of open-source projects beyond just mobile devices. Its goal is to improve performance, efficiency, and compatibility across the ARM ecosystem.

CLO lags behind Android in terms of features as it is based on the major Android release, but it includes various hardware-level optimizations and performance improvements for Snapdragon-based devices. It works closely with chip manufacturers and other stakeholders in the ARM ecosystem.

Where is CLO used?

CLO has a wide range of uses in the market, extending beyond just mobile devices. Most Snapdragon-based non-Nexus/Pixel smartphones rely on CLO to ensure better performance and optimized features tailored specifically for the Snapdragon SoC. Additionally, Snapdragon-based Android TVs benefit from CLO's enhancements, providing smoother and more efficient operation for a better user experience. In the automotive sector, CLO is utilized to power in-car infotainment systems and other smart vehicle applications, offering robust support and advanced features that are finely tuned to the specific needs of automotive hardware. This widespread usage highlights CLO's versatility and its critical role in enhancing the performance and capabilities of Snapdragon-based devices across various industries.

In conclusion, CodeLinaro's Android (CLO) isn't a competitor to Android but a powerful tool that helps manufacturers build better devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. By providing a stable, optimized codebase specifically designed for Snapdragon hardware, CLO contributes to smoother performance, improved features, and a wider variety of Android devices for consumers. While it may lag slightly behind the latest Android features, CLO makes up for it with solid stability and optimizations that ensure a great user experience on Snapdragon devices. So, the next time you use your Android phone or tablet, remember that CLO might be working behind the scenes, helping to deliver a powerful and enjoyable experience.

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