Intel to get in on Android smartphone action

Summary: Intel and Google will partner to optimise Android for Intel architecture, with Intel-based smartphones promised in the first half of 2012.

President and CEO of Intel, Paul S. Otellini, opening this year’s Intel Developer Forum (IDF 2011) in San Francisco with his keynote address said that they want to make Intel the architecture of choice for smartphones.

To that end, Intel has entered into a development partnership with Google, Otellini said.

This joint effort between chip giant and search giant is “designed to speed time-to-market of Intel technology-based smartphones running the Android platform,” a press statement issued by the company said.

Andy Rubin, senior vice-president of mobile at Google, was invited on stage where he said that the partnership is a strategic alliance between the two companies.

They would make sure that Android is optimised for Intel architecture, from low-level optimisations in the kernel to higher-level optimisation for multimedia, Rubin said.

“Combining Android with Intel’s low power smartphone roadmap opens up more opportunity for innovation and choice,” Rubin said.

Intel Android tablet - IDF 2011
An Android tablet running on Intel architecture seen at IDF 2011

Otellini held up a smartphone that was used during an earlier tech demo and revealed that it was a full reference implementation of an Intel Medfield based device running on Android.

Such devices should start becoming available during the first half of 2012, Otellini said.

Other Android devices running on Intel processors that were used on stage included a tablet, as well as a new office phone from Cisco which uses a removable tablet as the device interface.

Jan Vermeulen is a guest of Intel at IDF 2011

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Intel to get in on Android smartphone action