The guts are substantially different and seemingly more sophisticated. Notable things: 1) The compiler under compiler/dex seems to do a pretty simple set of optimizations and generate either code directly (compiler/dex/quick) or using LLVM through an intermediate code called GBC (compiler/dex/portable). 2) There's a new file format, OAT. Contrary to some reports, it doesn't appear to be a new bytecode, but rather a new file format for DEX bytecode. My guess it exists to support features like caching generated native code or compiling applications to images that don't have to be JIT-ed. The compiler has support for writing out ELF files, and LLVM can load ELF files dynamically with MCLinker. 3) There seems to be the start of a more sophisticated compiler under compiler/sea_ir. My guess is that it's intended to enable more high-level optimizations in the future. It seems to be a sea-of-nodes IR like the one used in Hotspot's C2 compiler, but doesn't seem to be either finished or plugged in. The change log suggests that it's still getting off the ground. 4) Judging by the commit logs, there seems to be a parallel-marking garbage collector, though otherwise it doesn't seem to be anything fancy.