This post will be a quick overview of Renderscript, a key new Honeycomb feature. "Renderscript is a new API targeted at high-performance 3D rendering and compute operations. The goal of Renderscript is to bring a lower level, higher performance API to Android developers. The target audience is the set of developers looking to maximize the performance of their apps and are comfortable working closer to the metal to achieve this. It provides the developer three primary tools: A simple 3D rendering API on top of hardware acceleration, a developer friendly compute API similar to CUDA, and a familiar language in C99," stated Google.
Renderscript has been used in the creation of the new visually-rich YouTube and Books apps. It's the API used in the live wallpapers shipping with the first Honeycomb tablets.
"The video below, captured through an Android tablet's HDMI out, is an example of Renderscript compute at work. The video show a simple brute force physics simulation of around 900 particles. The compute script runs each frame and automatically takes advantage of both cores. Once the physics simulation is done, a second graphics script does the rendering. In the video we push one of the larger balls to show the interaction. Then we tilt the tablet and let gravity do a little work. This shows the power of the dual A9s in the new Honeycomb tablet.
Renderscript Graphics provides a new runtime for continuously rendering scenes.[…]Early examples of Renderscript graphics were the live wallpapers and 3d app launcher that shipped with Eclair.
With Honeycomb, we have migrated from GL ES 1.1 to 2.0 as the renderer for Renderscript," explains Google.