Qualcomm uploads some of the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765 sources on CAF

Qualcomm uploads some of the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765 sources on CAF

We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links.

Back in December of 2019 during the Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765 mobile platforms. These chipsets are Qualcomm’s most powerful flagship and upper mid-range SoCs to date, and they’re already shipping on a number of premium devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 (865), Xiaomi Mi 10 (865), OnePlus 8 (865), and OPPO Reno3 Pro (765). Over 4 months since Qualcomm first announced these SoCs, the company has started to upload some of the sources associated with the two mobile platforms.

Code Aurora Forum, or CAF for short, hosts the source code for various Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs. Qualcomm, as an SoC vendor, distributes a forked version of the Linux kernel to OEMs/ODMs, who then add device-specific changes on shipping devices. In addition, Qualcomm makes changes to the AOSP framework to optimize Android for each of the company’s Snapdragon mobile platforms. Qualcomm privately distributes their modified Linux kernel, AOSP framework, and other software tools to its partners as part of a Board Support Package, or BSP. On the other hand, CAF is where Qualcomm publically publishes these Linux kernel changes and AOSP framework changes. This CAF release can be useful for custom ROM developers who wish to use it as a starting point rather than pure AOSP, which is why you sometimes see “CAF-based” ROMs on our forums.

To summarize:

  • Mainline Linux Kernel –> Android Common Kernel –> SoC-specific kernel (what Qualcomm publishes on CAF) –> BSP –> device-specific kernel (what OEMs are required to publish)
  • AOSP –> AOSP + framework changes made by SoC vendors (not required to be published under Apache 2.0, but Qualcomm does anyway) –> BSP –> OEM Android software (OxygenOS, ZenUI, etc.)

You can browse the associated release for the Snapdragon 865 (code-named “kona”) and Snapdragon 765 (code-named “lito”) on CAF now. Qualcomm previously released some of the source code for the Snapdragon 855 back in May of 2019, meaning today’s release has come about a month earlier than we expected.