Intel partners with Google for Atom smartphones

Written by Clive Webster

September 14, 2011 // 1:52 a.m.

Tags: #android #andy-ruben #atom #google #idf-2011 #intel #intel-partners-with-google-for-atom-smartphones #medfield #paul-otellini

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.

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