Intel Atom's Next Stop-Android Smartphones
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April 15, 2010
Intel is looking to include their Atom microprocessors, traditionally reserved for netbooks, in upcoming
Android OS smartphones. Intel already has Android running on Atom-based smartphones and certain
customers are interested in using it, said Renee James, general manager of Intel's software and services
group, on the sidelines of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing. She did not provide further
details of the project.
"Intel is enabling all OSes for Atom phones," James said.
The move is part of Intel's aim to further drive its Atom microprocessors into smartphones, a market
dominated by chips from Arm Holdings. Software has to be made specifically for the architecture of a
microprocessor. Intel builds chips on the x86 architecture, while Arm chips are based on RISC (reduced
instruction set computer).
Google originally designed Android to be used on common mobile phone processors made with Arm
technology, but since Android is open-source software, other companies have changed it so it can be
used with other chips.
Acer, the world's second-largest PC vendor, ported Android to netbooks based on Atom
microprocessors last year. MIPS Technologies, which sells its own chips based on the MIPS
(Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages) architecture, ported Android for use in a range of
devices that use MIPS chips, including set-top boxes, digital picture frames and home media centers.
To compete with Qualcomm's Snapdraggon processor, which will debut soon on several phones from
HTC and Samsung, Intel is seeing the near future by narrowing the gap between smartphone and