bit-tech.net

Intel partners with Google for Atom smartphones

Intel partners with Google for Atom smartphones

Atom: coming to smartphone near you soon. Promise.

Intel has announced a development partnership with Google to finally deliver a smartphone based on Intel’s low-power, low-performance Atom range of CPUs. ‘Over the last few years, Intel has learned a lot of things about smartphone silicon and system design,’ said Intel CEO Paul Otellini.

Our goal here is not easy but it’s very simple: we want to make Intel architecture the platform of choice for smartphone ecosystems.’ We were treated to some demos of an Intel smartphone in action, showing a feature called Pair and Share to securely pair two devices and share content (the clue’s in the name) and also Teleport, which transports you to an orbiting starship can send updates, images, reminders and doodles to a screensaver app running on a home PC. The example was of an all-in-one PC in a kitchen which you effectively turn into a digital fridge-magnet system.

The phone that was used earlier in the continuum demo is a Medfield-based, Intel architecture phone running the latest version of Android’s phone software [sic],’ said Otellini ‘It’s a full reference design that’s available to our customers to put into production as they see fit… This is a significant step forward in our commitment to provide Intel-based phones to the market in the first half of 2012.

We’ve been hearing that kind of timeframe for an Intel Atom-based smartphone for a few years, but the partnership with Google might actually deliver on the promise this time.

Andy Ruben, senior vice president of mobile for Google, was there to back up the claim: ‘we’re going to collaborate very closely to make sure that Android is optimised the best it possibly can be for the Intel architecture.

‘Going forward, all future releases of Android will be optimised at very low levels of the kernel for taking advantage of memory management, and all the great features of the IA architecture, all the way up to multimedia, 3D graphics; everything that’s part of a System on a Chip today.


Otellini summarised by saying ‘We’re excited about optimising our silicon for not only the current versions of Android, but future ones as well.’ Intel has been optimising its silicon for a smartphone for years, but perhaps we will see the pay-off for all that hard work.

Looking forward to an Intel-powered, x86 smartphone or are you worried it’ll be hot, large or have poor battery life? Let us know in the forum.

15 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Zurechial 14th September 2011, 03:07 Quote
Android on x86 and Windows on ARM?
The world's going mad!
jamesislush 14th September 2011, 07:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
Android on x86 and Windows on ARM?
The world's going mad!

Haha! Didn't even think of that.

I think it's got to be good news though. Yeah, the atoms are crap for netbooks running Windows, but for a smartphone, could be the way forward.
Tattysnuc 14th September 2011, 08:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesislush
Haha! Didn't even think of that.

I think it's got to be good news though. Yeah, the atoms are crap for netbooks running Windows, but for a smartphone, could be the way forward.

Harsh, but fair....
l3v1ck 14th September 2011, 08:47 Quote
I thought x86 used a lot more power than ARM. Given that mobile phone battery life isn't huge if you hammer the CPU anyway, using an Atom would shorten the battery life even more. Unlesss Intel pull some power saving miracle out of the bag, I'll be staying well clear.
I think Intel are just desperate to get themselves into this huge market even though they don't really have a product speciffically designed for it. Re-polishing a turd probably won't help them. Sure, smaller manufacturing processes will help, but a purpose built design would be the best solution
Xir 14th September 2011, 09:00 Quote
Why emphasize new features... Smartphones mainly need to offer their current features longer. ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesislush
the atoms are crap for netbooks running Windows, but for a smartphone, could be the way forward.
If you don't accept sacrificing processing power for low energy use in a netbook, why would you accept it in a phone?
Netbooks do what they should, give you browsing and light work capability for many hours.
Want to crunch data, multithread and play crysis? Don't complain about the netbook, complain about your buying the wrong machine for the task.
l3v1ck 14th September 2011, 09:12 Quote
Excellent points, well made.
Icy EyeG 14th September 2011, 11:24 Quote
It's going to be interesting to see what is the fate of the Android X86 project after this decision.
mecblade 14th September 2011, 16:05 Quote
-Please Delete-
Lord-Vale3 14th September 2011, 17:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
I thought x86 used a lot more power than ARM. Given that mobile phone battery life isn't huge if you hammer the CPU anyway, using an Atom would shorten the battery life even more. Unlesss Intel pull some power saving miracle out of the bag, I'll be staying well clear.

Remember that article from yesterday about that Intel chip running Windows with the power collected by a solar cell the size of a postage stamp?

Intel is clearly making progress towards making low power chips more efficient. They could be redesigning the Atom name with newer technologies from that research.
Grimloon 14th September 2011, 17:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Vale3
Remember that article from yesterday about that Intel chip running Windows with the power collected by a solar cell the size of a postage stamp?

Intel is clearly making progress towards making low power chips more efficient. They could be redesigning the Atom name with newer technologies from that research.

Intel have announced sub 10W TDP Atoms with virtualisation, 64bit and ECC support for use in server clusters due 2012 (source) so I think an Atom redesign is confirmed. If they have that capability for a server orientated chip I'm definitely interested to see what the smart phone optimised version will be like!
HourBeforeDawn 14th September 2011, 18:58 Quote
Google should look at AMD fusions options, much better over that of Intels Atoms.
fdbh96 14th September 2011, 19:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimloon
Intel have announced sub 10W TDP Atoms with virtualisation, 64bit and ECC support for use in server clusters due 2012 (source) so I think an Atom redesign is confirmed. If they have that capability for a server orientated chip I'm definitely interested to see what the smart phone optimised version will be like!

If intel get the low power/budget CPUs sorted then amd will be in trouble :)
fluxtatic 15th September 2011, 06:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
Google should look at AMD fusions options, much better over that of Intels Atoms.

I love me some AMD, and even I think you're being silly (just the same, Atom can suck it - Fusion ftw!) AMD is not nearly in a place to put out a competitive proc for mobile phones. Is AMD maybe focusing on the wrong market? It's possible, but I don't see them trying to move in the direction of mobile now. They're maybe getting back on their feet after Intel put them on their ass in '06 with the Core arch. AMD needs to stay focused on the task at hand - server and consumer processors. Let them get competitive again, and the CPU side of the business making money again, then maybe look at mobile.

Intel, otoh, is being silly too, I think. Really? Atom for mobile? Are they feeling stupid for selling of XScale, and too proud to buy a damn ARM license already? Plus, Otellini apparently isn't entirely aware of what they want to run - "Android's phone software" Who's software, Paul? All the sunshine Gootel is blowing around now is lovely, but we'll see what really comes of it. If the fluff piece yesterday about Haswell is right, they might be able to get the power down on x86 enough to make it practical. Of course, by that point, no one will give two f*cks about being able to run x86 on a phone - ARM will be so deeply entrenched that the dream of easy portability for native x86 applications won't be nearly as relevant. That's been the big thing - it's a pain to port code from x86 to ARM. By the time this actually happens, we're talking years in - everyone who gave half a crap already ported their code.

I think Intel might be starting down the road of some stupid missteps - burning desire to use x86 in phones, their retarded 'Ultrabook' initiative. Hopefully they'll get knocked down a peg or two (if only to make us beat-down AMD fans feel a little better.)
l3v1ck 15th September 2011, 08:51 Quote
Could you imagine the power savings if Intel made an ARM chip using their 22nm process?
There's nothing to stop that, other than Intel's pride. It wouldn't cost them that much for a license.
TWeaK 15th September 2011, 14:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Ruben, Google
...and all the great features of the IA architecture

The architecture of the Intel Architecture?
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums