Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 sources now available on CAF

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 sources now available on CAF

Qualcomm’s latest high-end system-on-chip, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, was announced late last year at the Snapdragon Tech Summit in Hawaii. With an Adreno 630 GPU, 4 efficiency cores and 4 performance cores, it’s a performance beast and is the best to offer for Android phones to date. Nearly all of this year’s major flagships such as the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, the Samsung Galaxy S9, the LG G7 ThinQ, and the OnePlus 6 have launched with it, and that’s great for users. Qualcomm traditionally releases a lot of platform specific code on the Code Aurora Forums (CAF) which helps developers get started on building custom AOSP-based ROMs. However, the company delayed releasing the sources for the Snapdragon 845. When we contacted Qualcomm about this, we were told that they would be released in 6 weeks. That 6-week window has passed, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform sources are now available on CAF.

For a quick note, the existence of CAF is one of the reasons why Android smartphones with Qualcomm chips are so popular with the development community on XDA. While the GPLv2 license requires that vendors release their kernel sources, that isn’t always enough for creating custom ROMs based on AOSP. Releasing chipset-specific code is not required for SoC vendors, but Qualcomm often provides the public part of their chipset specific code for HALs, framework branches, and more which is a great benefit for developers. Developers can build for the platform without having to know how the new chipset features work. Without access to that code, it becomes a lot more difficult to build an AOSP-based custom ROM for a device.

That’s exactly the problem as it took months for the Snapdragon 845 sources to be released. That’s a lot longer than it usually takes, which led some developers to worry that Qualcomm was becoming like other SoC vendors like MediaTek and HiSilicon. Fortunately, the company has now released the code and developers can start building for their devices.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 sources on the Code Aurora Forums

But why did we have to wait so long? Well, previous code drops often spoiled upcoming chipset releases. That’s a fair excuse given that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 was leaked well ahead of time thanks to CAF sources. Now that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632, 439, and 429 platforms are out-of-the-way and the Snapdragon 845 sources are properly scrubbed of any mentions of unreleased chipsets, the company is comfortable releasing it publicly.

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