Intel has created a version of the Android OS that can run on an Atom microprocessor, which could lead to smartphones and tablets with Google’s operating system to have an “Intel Inside” sticker.
Android was written to run on ARM-based chips like the Qualcomm Snapdragon, but Intel wants its mobile processors to be used on smartphones in addition to laptops, so it ported the operating system.
Renee James, the head of Intel’s software and services group, told PCWorld that her company has customers who are interested in this version of Android, but she did not name them.
In general, smartphone makers have preferred ARM-based chips because they use less energy. However, Atom processors have faster clock speeds, potentially leading to faster performance.
A company making an Android OS-based tablet computer or netbook might be more interested in this combination than a smartphone maker. Good performance on a large, high-resolution screen requires a fast processor, and larger devices have more room for the battery.
Several companies have been working on Android-based tablets and netbooks, including both HP and Dell.
More about Atom Processors
Intel Atom line uses a microarchitecture designed specifically for portable devices and relatively low power, but still using the Intel Core 2 Duo instruction set used by processors found in Windows laptops and desktops.
The chips are less than 25 mm², making them Intel’s smallest and lowest power processor.