MWC 2014. App Planet. Intel Software

    In normal times, such a relaxed and unhurriedly helpful Barcelona now meets me with arrogant employment and concentrated ignoring. This means that the time has come for the Mobile World Congress - those five days a year, when a month before the trip the cheapest hotel is available at a price of at least 700 Euro per night, and to move into apartments somewhere in the picturesque gateway of the Gothic quarter, you need to be warned manager in an hour, and wait the same amount at the entrance.
    In this publication, I will share my impressions of the first days of the conference and tell you that you did not see anything interesting in the Intel pavilion, because you were not among the 67 thousand registered and arrived participants of this grand event. Although, perhaps, you went to the Embedded World in Nuremberg, where now there are also many of my colleagues, and from whom we expect interesting reports. Later I will do a short review of what impressed me at the stands of other companies, which are so numerous that it seems that all manufacturers of devices and equipment have taken and abandoned their main business, taking up mobile applications.

    My vision of Intel's presence at the exhibition is, oddly enough, not so much a demonstration of hardware solutions (although this is also enough), but a total focus on software tools, SDKs and mobile applications. If you look, it makes sense: device manufacturers have already gained access to Intel mobile processors and reference platforms (Bay Trail, Merrifield), and now it's time to fill the ecosystem. Someone will say “the train has left”, as if hinting that we are a bit behind the main players in the market. But I am witnessing a massive advancement of tools for rapid development for Intel mobile platforms for Android, Tizen and Windows, which has been happening over the past few months at such a speed that it took several years for ARM products. Of course, a review of everything will fail, and it’s not required, so let’s dwell on what seemed interesting to me. Well, let's take it in order, consider what is presented in the Intel demo zone.

    Intel System Studio (ISS)

    The name of the product hints that this is a set of tools for developers of system software. By and large, the way it is. But you need to reveal a little secret: Intel System Studio was born on the basis of the long-known Intel Parallel Studio, which is designed to develop high-performance user applications. Without losing any of the properties of its parent, System Studio acquired several new ones and was adapted for development for Android, Tizen and Embedded Linux, naturally for the Atom and Core processors. It integrates with the Android SDK and NDK, as well as in the Eclipse development environment.

    Jtag debugger

    The developer of the system (both OS and drivers for it) can not do without a system debugger that allows you to work both in the bootloader and in the kernel of the system. It is clear that in order to debug the system, you must be the manufacturer of the device, and it must contain the JTAG interface. All manufacturers file a little system, making it a little better than the original, in their understanding. Some (Samsung, Sony, Dell, HTC, Huawei) have a larger file, and they provide both their Android launchers and drivers for the original devices. Here they basically need such a debugger, because after the production is put on stream, access is hidden in serial mobile phones and tablets and the JTAG connector is removed. And so that especially handed engineers and Chinese masters of cloning could not dig deeper into the kernel modules, the interface pins are burned inside the chip. So for a regular device purchased in a store, a JTAG debugger is no more useful than a shaman tambourine.

    And if you still are not Samsung or Dell, but are developing a smart controller for your home, running Linux? Then “Hello again!” - the JTAG sender will work with the Galileo module based on Intel Quark, about which much has already been written. In our demonstration, we show how the Intel XDB JTAG debugger works great on a Galileo module connected via the inhumane expensive Intel ITP-XDP 3 (it works with both Quark and Atom and Core). For debugging a home smart controller, this is not needed, just use one of the more accessible interfaces.

    Intel GPA, VTune Amplifier and Energy Profiler

    System Monitor Graphics Performance Analyzerand VTune for Android now go hand in hand. The GPA will help determine how much you perplexed the GPU in the device, and VTune takes on the CPU performance analysis. We will not describe in detail the advantages of the VTune Amplifier profiler, we will only say that now you can profile and optimize both Android system applications, device drivers, and custom Java applications. Interestingly, this can be done simultaneously. Total analysis is especially useful if your Java application uses algorithms that require high performance (for example, image recognition and analysis), which, of course, are written in C / C ++, or use ready-made optimized bricks that implement DSP processing (they are in the form of an IPP library for Android is also included in the package). As a result of profiling, we get results both for Java code and .so binary modules, together with call stacks and timing distribution over the source code. And if there is debugging information, then on to the kernel modules.

    And here is a tool that you probably haven’t heard of, Intel Energy Profiler. AnalyzingAndroid applications, we can trace how the processor frequency has changed over time, and in what states of sleep (C-states) or wakefulness (P-states) it was. The fact is that, ideally, the processor, as one of the main consumers of energy, should either sleep like a baby (C6) or work like a horse (Px) - this is how ideal energy saving is achieved. Between these phases there are many intermediate phases, in which the CPU either sleeps or works relaxedly, but on the whole they should take much less time than the main ones. However, applications do not take this into account, and they constantly awaken the processor, both on business (to receive a data packet, process an event, etc.), and in vain. As a result of energy analysis, we can understand who and how often wakes up the processor, and it is possible to deprive someone of such a privilege.

    It is also interesting for system integrators to compare the energy profiles of various applications. There are examples when media players from different vendors forced the system to consume an amount of energy that differs by half on a single data stream. Therefore, mobile application developers are thinking about such an unusual feature as the "power consumption" of the program.

    An attentive reader will ask, why is this for ordinary application developers? Normal - no reason. However, in addition to large companies, there are developers of the original middleware that offer more efficient codecs, speech recognition modules, communication programs, and other applications that work with various device sensors. If they focus on the Intel SoC at the core of the device, they need the Intel Systems Studio package, as well as an emulator with Intel HAXM accelerator . As for the test hardware, there is also news announced at the MWC. In addition to retail devices based on Intel chips, it will be possible to buy a Dell Venue 8 device and register in a special program of developers for systems:Intel Mobile Development Platform for Android and Developer Program . According to this program, in addition to the device, it will be possible to get Android development tools, VTune Amplifier, Energy Profiler and a set of developer documentation. Later, the list of vendors and devices will expand.

    Intel INDE

    “Enough about systems, drivers, middleware and other hardware problems !!! I am a regular developer of custom Android applications. Although no, not quite ordinary. “I want my visual reader, recognizer and translator from Chinese street signs to work quickly on ARM and very fast on Intel chips.” We also have something to offer you. Soon there will be a product called INDE ( Integrated Native Developer Experience ), in which you will find everything you need for cross-platform development of your sophisticated and high-performance program, as well as Media Pack and Intel Android images. At the same time, Intel, oddly enough, turns to face ordinary members of the community and intends to offer tools at very humane prices, at least at more affordable than ISS.
    At the exhibition, you could see how the Bouncing Balls application increases its fps even on a rather old Lenovo K900 smartphone, simply by replacing the option to compile the native code from gcc to icc.

    In general, if something seemed interesting to you, go to the page of development tools for Android and choose what to try in your project, and news on INDE will be soon.

    Internet of things

    In the meantime, our guys from the Developer Relations Division filmed an interesting demo with cars using the Intel Galileo module and a set of tools for Embedded Linux. In fact, they were 30 years late when I, playing the same toy, lost my temper losing the race to my older brother. He skillfully took turns and accelerated into straight lines, and I pressed the trigger and my machine constantly flew off the track. I couldn’t manage to choose the optimal mode and pressing force on the potentiometer, which regulates the voltage, and accordingly, the speed of the machine. In just three weeks and on our knees, our colleagues assembled a system that regulates engine power, choosing the optimal driving mode, and controlling the passage of fireballs using two cameras suspended from above (with pattern recognition, movement and location on Intel Quark).

    Want to implement an interesting idea on Intel Quark? Register and get the Intel Galileo Development Kit for IoT .

    Intel RealSense Technology

    Although not new, but, in my opinion, one of the most interesting technologies is the gesture recognition SDK. All the cinematic feints from dragging information on visual walls to managing the space fleet of children are no longer fiction, but quite realizable projects. I don’t understand why, so far, apart from well-known game consoles and a couple of applications of contactless paging of phone pages, really breakthrough and useful projects have not appeared. You do not want to help the deaf-mute, so that they can be understood by the interlocutors without knowledge of a special language? Or maybe swipe at the analysis of the mood of the client considering your product, or an exhibit? And you won’t have to ask him to share his impressions ...


    As many have noticed, Intel began to pay a lot of attention to software development. But, like other companies working in the mobile market, it needs cooperation with the developer community. The company offers this collaboration at the Intel Developer Zone, where Intel engineers will carefully consider your suggestions and criticisms. And the most zealous critics will be banned even at the management level. So do not be shy, write in the forums, comment on articles, scold and praise.
    While MWC continues its work, Spanish sangria is flowing, we are actively working with visitors, looking at competitors and preparing product announcements for developers.

    A couple more photos from the exhibition
    Android for peace on the Maidan

    In order to get a pill from Intel, you need to make “ku” many times.

    “I swear to my mom, good processor.” So the employees of the marketing department of Intel communicate with equipment manufacturers.

    Well, everything that Intel says can and will be turned against him.

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