RISC-V support in Android just got a big setback

Although Google has shown significant progress in recent weeks in improving RISC-V support in Android, it seems that we’re still quite a bit away from seeing RISC-V hardware running certified builds of Android. Earlier today, a Senior Staff Software Engineer at Google who, according to their LinkedIn, leads the Android Systems Team and works on Android’s Linux kernel fork, submitted a series of patches to AOSP that “remove ACK’s support for riscv64.” The description of these patches states that “support for risc64 GKI kernels is discontinued.”

↫ Mishaal Rahman

Google provided Android Authority with a statement, claiming that Android will continue to support RISC-V. What these patches do, however, is remove support for the architecture from the Generic Kernel Image, which is the only type of kernel Google certifies for Android, which means that it is now no longer possible to ship a certified Android device that uses RISC-V. Any OEM shipping a RISC-V Android device will have to create and maintain its own kernel fork with the required patches. This doesn’t seem to align with Google’s statement.

So, unless Google intends to add RISC-V support back into GKI, there won’t be any officially certified Android devices running on RISC-V. Definitely an odd chain of events here.


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