Android 4.0 for Atom CPUs is ready
Intel has completed its version of Android 4.0 for the forthcoming Atom SoC (System on a Chip), code-named Medfield. With this chip, manufactured with 32 nm technology, Intel aims to finally take its place in the smartphone and tablet world. Previous attempts failed because x86-based SoCs require too much power and offer too little performance to compete with ARM SoCs.
Intel is finding its way into the mobile SoC market mainly through the operating systems it supports. At the Intel Developer Forum in September, the chip manufacturer showed a first Medfield-based smartphone with Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" and a tablet with Android 3.x "Honeycomb". Version 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich", as developed by Google, merges the smartphone and tablet development branches. Version 4.0 was released as open source in mid-November.
Alec Gefrides, head of Intel's "Google Program Office", said the company had "a version of Android 4.0 for Medfield up and running within a day of Google open sourcing the OS" and that smartphone and tablet vendors now have custom Android 4.0 packages with Medfield drivers at their disposal. Intel plans to work together with device manufacturers to optimise and fine-tune the Android implementations for Medfield-based devices. "We'll see products next year on Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Honeycomb," added Gefrides.