Google commits to optimise Android for Intel smartphones

Intel smartphones
The Medfield-based smartphone

Google and Intel today announced a continuation of its 'strategic alliance' specifically aimed at making sure its Android operating system is "optimised the best it possibly can be for the Intel architecture."

A rather flustered-looking Andy Rubin, Senior VP Mobile for Google, took to the stage with Intel CEO, Paul Otellini, at this year's Intel Developer Forum here in San Francisco to make the announcement.

Rubin announced that going forward all future releases of Android will be optimised, from the kernel level upwards, for the Intel mobile platform.

"Every time we collaborate with Google good things come out of it," said Otellini.

Intel is targeting the first half of 2012 for the release of its first Medfield-based smartphones via multiple worldwide manufacturers.

Otellini also stated that all of the first Intel smartphones will be Android-based.

Medfield is the 32nm next generation of Atom processors specifically designed for the smartphone, system-on-a-chip (SoC) ecosystem. It is the follow-up chip to last year's Moorestown Atom CPU which was based on the 45nm production process.

Intel today showed a functioning, full reference design of an Intel Android smartphone, saying that such devices had already been shipped out to manufacturers to play with.

Paul ottelini, intel ceo, with its reference smartphone

Otellini however wouldn't be drawn on which manufacturers had taken an active interest in releasing such products.

In a separate briefing here at IDF 2011 Intel also showed off a functional Medfield-based tablet running Android Honeycomb.

It was an 8.9mm thin reference device and Intel is ready now to ship them out to manufacturers to use themselves.

Intel has long been talking up the prospect of Atom-based smartphones and tablets, but with the last generation, Moorestown, it failed to grab any serious mobile design wins.

This time it hopes things will be different with the Medfield Atom.

With Microsoft announcing the support of the ARM architecture for its next version of its flagship OS, Windows 8, it's interesting to see Intel cosying up quite significantly with Google in the mobile market.