Achim Nohl, Synopsys
Embbedded.com (October 27, 2012)
The Android Software Development Kit (SDK)  enables the software community to develop applications that take advantage of the latest handset features before the handset is even available. SDKs are tailored and extended by handset providers to design devices with their key differentiating product capabilities.
Prominent examples include Kyoceraâs SDK support for their dual screen devices, Samsungâs SDK extensions for S-Pen, or LGâs modified SDK for 3D application software development. The core of these SDKs is a simulator based on the QEMU  simulation framework. The SDKs guarantee that at the Java level, the programming interface (Android API) is consistent between the real handset and the SDKâs simulator.
However, these SDKs target application developers. The execution and architecture underneath the Java software layer is not guaranteed to match the execution of the real handset. This is due to the fact that the SDKs simulate a generic hardware platform, the so-called âGoldfishâ platform. For this reason, SDKs fall short when it comes to full end-to-end hardware/software integration.
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