News started to trickle out this week about a new Android build called Linaro. Basically, it takes stock Android 4.0.4 and makes it super-fast, and super-awesome(er). In fact, it can boost performance by up to 100 percent over stock. Considering how fast and fluid stock Android 4.0.x already is (especially compared to older versions of the OS), that's quite impressive. Don't take my word for it, though, here's one of the main Linaro guys, Bernhard Rosenkranzer, showing it off on a TI Pandaboard. The Pandaboard features the OMAP 4430 processor (the same one that's in the Droid RAZR), so this is definitely a real-world example of what Linaro is capable of:
As you can see, the Linaro build finishes long before the stock Android build. That's not the best part though: the parts of Linaro that make is so efficient and fast are coming soon to Cyanogenmod 9.
Basically, parts of the Linaro code have been submitted to the CM9 gerrit and are currently awaiting approval. Once commited, these tweaks will be added to the main CM9 code, giving all supported devices a drastic increase in performance.
The good news doesn't end there, though: Galaxy Nexus owners can already take an unofficial CM9 build with the Linaro bits for a whirl. From what we've read, this build is noticeably faster and more fluid right out of the gate. Awesome.
Since the first rule of CM is don't ask for ETAs, we have no idea when we could start seeing builds show up with Linaro code, so for now, we'll all just have to take comfort in knowing that things in the CM9 world are getting ready to get a lot faster.