Intel has readied its upcoming Atom processor, code-named Medfield, powering Android 4.0 on smartphones and tablets.
Intel and device makers are working together to fine tune the performance of Medfield chips powering the new version of Android. How successful the collaboration is will determine whether or not manufacturers use the chips in their upcoming smartphones and tablets.
“We’ll see products next year on Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Honeycomb,” Gefrides said, referring to Android versions 2.3, 4.0 and 3.0. “Every OEM has to put a stake in the ground to get a product delivered.”
In September, Intel estimated the first smartphone to be powered by their new processors will hit the market between early to mid-2012.
Currently the smartphone and tablet market is grossly dominated by ARM processors. Intel is hoping to breach the growing market with the introduction of its Medfield chip.
Android 4.0 is one of the biggest updates seen yet on the platform, with the OS fusing mobile software with its tablet OS to produce one seamless software experience, irrespective of device. The hype surrounding the OS will ease Intel’s entry into the market.
The open source community has been petitioning Intel to release its drivers. However, the company wants to make sure the drivers take full advantage of the hardware for heavy tasks, such as multimedia, web browsing and multi-core processing. Without optimised coding, the user experience could be compromised.
“Intel wants to avoid people doing weird things in weird ways that makes their platform look bad,” said Jack Gold, principal analyst at J. Gold Associates.
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“It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I’d have to weigh in on Intel on getting the user experience right.”