Operating systemAndroid (operating system)

RenderScript is a deprecated component of the Android operating system for mobile devices that offers an API for acceleration that takes advantage of heterogeneous hardware. It allows developers to increase the performance of their applications at the cost of writing more complex (lower-level) code.

It provides the developer three primary tools: A simple 3D rendering API, a compute API similar to CUDA, and a C99-derived language.


RenderScript was added in Android 3.0 Honeycomb.[1]

As of Android 4.1, RenderScript's experimental 3D rendering API has been deprecated, and now exists solely as a compute API.

Android 4.2 added new capabilities to script intrinsics, such as Blend and Blur; as well as ScriptGroups which allows related RenderScript scripts to be grouped and executed with one call. It also added FilterScript, which is a subset of RenderScript that allows developers to write their image processing operations in FilterScript using the standard RenderScript runtime API, but within stricter constraints that ensure wider compatibility and improved optimization across multi-core CPUs, GPUs, and DSPs. FilterScript is less precise in floating point precision, and more cross device compatible subset of RenderScript – and should not be mistaken for a RenderScript replacement technology.[2]

On April 19, 2021, Google announced that RenderScript will be deprecated in Android 12, and recommended porting existing code to Vulkan.[3]



RenderScript is designed to always run on the various Android platforms regardless of hardware type. Performance tuning is done at runtime.

RenderScript portability depends upon device-specific drivers:[4] a basic CPU-only driver is provided for every device, while there exist some specific chipset-provided RenderScript drivers that enable GPU usage (e.g. Qualcomm specific drivers, which are provided in the Android library).


RenderScript is designed to tune tasks at runtime that can be efficiently split and run concurrently on the underlying hardware.[5]

As of Android 4.2, RenderScript has been expanded to run on the GPU in addition to the CPU on supported systems.[6]



  1. ^ "Honeycomb".
  2. ^ "Android 4.2 APIs". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  3. ^ "Android GPU Compute Going Forward". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  4. ^ Marchetti, Alberto (2016). RenderScript: parallel computing on Android, the easy way (1st ed.). Archived from the original on 2016-08-25. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  5. ^ "Renderscript Part 2".
  6. ^ "Jelly Bean - Renderscipt Performance". Retrieved 2012-11-27.