IDF 2011: Intel, Google Strengthen Android Partnership; Intel Re-ups Phone Promises
September 13, 2011 1:25 PM
Intel has so far only released one Android tablet to the market -- the obscure Tega v2.
So far only 1 Atom tablet or smartphone has hit the market
Intel Corp. (
) CEO Paul Otellini shared the stage with Google Inc.'s (
) VP of the Android operating system, Andy Rubin at the
2011 Intel Developer Forum
at the Moscone Center in San Francisco Calif. on Tuesday morning. Intel announced that they had entered into a new partnership with Android that promises to help boost Intel's products, which have thus far struggled to compete against ARM chips in most of the mobile sector.
Late last year Intel promised
dozens of Android tablets would release in 2011
. Thus far Intel has only released one official Atom tablet in the wild -- Tegatech Australia's obscure Tega v2 design, which is a dual boot Windows 7/Android 2.1 ("Eclair") tablet powered by an Intel Atom N455 (
At the press conference, though, Andy Rubin guaranteed, "All future releases of Android will be optimized for Intel's architecture."
During the event Intel also showed off a live Medfield prototype, which it says is available as a reference design to its partners. Details on the platform were scarce, but it was good to see signs of Medfield nearing market readiness, at least.
Medfield is somewhat of the
Duke Nukem Forever
of the phone world
, having seen
. Originally it was planned for a 2009 or 2010 launch, but that date has since been pushed to sometime in 2012. However, Intel promises once it delivers its first hardware it will be much faster with the followups,
hitting the 14 nm node by 2014
That's a pretty ambitious goal. If Intel can stick to it, it stands a good shot at meeting or beating
competitive ARM designs
, which will likely still be beat on a respectively larger, less power-efficient nanometer node.
Intel's Android lineup isn't entirely vaporware. Intel embedded Atom processors currently drive the entire Android-powered Google TV lineup. While that lineup has struggled, it has at least strengthened ties between the world's largest CPU maker and the world's largest smartphone OS maker.
have been reporting on the Atom E6xx series only receiving Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" support in January 2012, two to three months after it's made obsolete by Android 3.5 "Ice Cream Sandwich". The report's source is an
deck, which was recently published.
While technically true, these reports seem slightly disingenuous in that they fail to properly identify what the chip series in question is, misleading many into believing that the
chip series may be behind in Android support. Actually the chip in question is
, which is a chip destined for infotainment systems and other embedded applications.
In other words,
may be behind, but this has no impact on Intel's tablet or smartphone plans. Those plans have already seen enough setbacks.
Here's hoping that Intel can finally make good on its tablet and smartphone promises.
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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