In addition to unveiling the Snapdragon 865, Qualcomm last December announced that it would update GPU drivers through the Play Store. At the Google for Games Developer Summit today, both companies provided an update on the effort, including how the Pixel 4 will be one of the first devices to see GPU updates.

Google today announced the Android GPU Inspector to make building and optimizing games on the platform easier. The tool provides detailed information about a game’s render stages and GPU counter that was previously not available. These insights can be used to improve frame rates and lower power usage for longer battery life:

While working with a game partner using the Android GPU Inspector and a Pixel 4 XL powered by Snapdragon, Google was able to discover an optimization opportunity that saved the game 40% in GPU utilization.

Qualcomm worked with Google on the Inspector given the Adreno GPU family’s wide adoption. In using the tool to make optimizations, developers can suggest driver enhancements directly to the chipmaker. An Adreno Graphics Development Driver will be made available to select devs to allow for fast testing of optimizations.

These improvements to the Adreno GPU driver will be compiled and released to consumers as an update through the Play Store. Similar to on PCs, this will bring new features and performance enhancements. The end-user experience will be akin to updating an app, just like with Project Mainline and its modularization of security and other key Android components.

Today’s update reveals how Qualcomm and Google are “currently collaborating” on upgradable GPU drivers for the Snapdragon 855-powered Pixel 4, Samsung Galaxy S10, and Note 10. More devices are “coming later.”

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author