Some unexciting exciting news for you today, folks, if that makes sense. Google seems to be experimenting with version 3.8 of the Linux kernel as the code was found in the company’s repositories. This normally wouldn’t mean too much to us, but with such a major jump from what’s running in Jelly Bean 4.2.2 — kernel version 3.4 — there’s reason to take notice.
For starters, this version includes more Android-related code, including driver support for NVIDIA Tegra drives, and advancements in code for Samsung Exynos DRM. Also important to us mobile folks is a lower memory footprint, with Phoronix saying it uses “a lot less memory” than versions prior. This is a huge deal for mobile, of course, where memory is more limited than on desktop and laptop computing. Finally, Samsung’s F2FS file system was merged into the kernel, a file system that’s said to be very flash-friendly.
Google is far along in these “experimental stages,” apparently, and while we might not have confirmation yet it’s possible the kernel is being readied for use inside Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. We likely won’t be getting official details regarding that particular version of Android until Google I/O this summer, so just sit back and enjoy this news for what it is for the time being.