Status Update: Tegra 2 Support

In the release post for CyanogenMod 10.1, we mentioned we would provide a status update for the Tegra 2 and Exynos platforms. As the issues preventing a release for these platforms differ, today’s update will focus on the T2 platform only. 

The Tegra 2 platform is known as non-NEON capable. What this means in plain terms is that it lacks in capabilities in media, audio and graphics when compared to platforms that are NEON capable (eg. Tegra 3). With Android 4.1 and above, we are noticing a trend in the Android space leaning towards greater reliance on NEON support. A prime example of this can be seen in Google’s own applications, with Google Now’s voice recognition, Gesture keyboard and even Photosphere relying on the additional benefits of NEON support to operate. 

With the ecosystem shifting away from devices that lack NEON support, we are following suit. Truth is, the lack of support for this added capability will only continue to degrade Tegra 2 users’ functionality of their devices, not only now, but with future iterations of Android and CyanogenMod. 

We will, however, continue to release 10.1 weeklies for the Tegra 2 platform until such time that we move on to the next Android release. We urge users who are using these builds to understand that they are operating at a handicap, and expect crashes if you introduce applications to your system that rely on NEON instruction support. As some of the more prominent Google apps have already moved onto requiring NEON, you may also want to look into open source alternatives, such as those available via F-Droid. 
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