Nexus 6 Encryption Kerfuffle

You might have heard the Nexus 6 is sort of slow in many benchmarks. By default, it ships with an encrypted file system which while is secure and all, slows things way down.

Android Police:

Denver uses the ARMv8 architecture, which has native AES and SHA support as part of its instruction set. The Snapdragon 805, meanwhile, achieves its own hardware-level AES support using a proprietary cryptographic module developed by Qualcomm.

My strong suspicion is that these two solutions were not created equally. Qualcomm’s processor roadmap has struggled to make the leap to ARMv8-based chips at the high end of the market, with the company having shifted much of its current release schedule to push 64-bit mid-range and low-end chips in Asia and Europe. Though those chips are using the ARMv8 instruction set, their cores are based on standard ARM reference designs. Meanwhile, the top-tier Krait core still uses ARMv7, thus pushing Qualcomm into offering some form of hardware encrypt/decrypt while its next-gen 64-bit core is still in development.

The behemoth of the mobile processor industry is to blame. Don’t worry, I’ll hold it against them for you.