Intel, Google Launch Android Partnership
September 14, 2011

Intel, Google Launch Android Partnership


Intel Corp. and Google Inc. unveiled a development partnership on Tuesday under which the two companies will work together to optimize the Android operating system for Intel´s processors.

The collaboration is intended to help the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant make inroads into the mobile market, with its technology eventually powering everything from servers to smartphones.

Intel currently leads the PC and server markets, but has struggled to penetrate the smartphone and touchscreen tablet computing markets because its chips are seen as too power-hungry compared with rival processors based on ARM Holdings architecture.  

Power efficiency is a critical factor for handheld, battery-powered devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Texas Instruments and Samsung currently license technology from ARM Holdings.

However, with sales of PCs slowing, Intel hopes its new lower-power chips and advanced-process technology will help it make inroads into the booming smartphone market.

The two companies said they will collaborate to optimize future versions of Google's Android mobile software for Intel's "Atom" processors, hoping to accelerate the development and time-to-market of future Intel-powered smartphones.

The first Android phones running Google processors should be available in the first half of next year, Intel executives said Tuesday during the company's annual developer conference in San Francisco.

Speaking with reporters following his keynote speech at the conference, Intel CEO Paul Otellini emphasized that the smartphone market is still in its early stages.

"The smartphone business is not established in terms of the ultimate shake-out of who's going to win and who is going to lose," he said.

"You saw what happened in terms of how fast Android took share from Apple.”

Android software, which Google licenses at no charge to manufacturers, is currently the most popular smartphone software.

"So good products on good platforms can really still make a big difference in this industry,” Otellini said.

While Android technically could already support Intel chips, the Google-Intel partnership will make it easier for a manufacturer to bring an Intel-based Android phone to market.

Previously, it was left to phone manufacturers to make their Android phones compatible with Intel chips. But now, future versions of the Android software will work with Intel chips from the beginning, and will be optimized to harness Intel's technology.

During his speech on Tuesday, Otellini also provided details about Intel's first products with software security firm McAfee, which Intel acquired earlier this year.  Intel said it will introduce a product called DeepSAFE later this year, which combines hardware and software to detect previously unknown intrusions.

Otellini also said Intel has made significant progress towards the development of technology at 14 nanometers. 

He also shed light on the company's future chip architecture, dubbed "Haswell," referencing new technology that could provide all-day device usage and more than 10 days of always-connected standby connectability.  Further details are expected later this week, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"Computing means a lot more than computers," Otellini said.

"The device is important, but the experience is more so."

Shares of Intel´s stock rose 2.37% on Tuesday, closing at $20.76.  Shares of Google´s stock were down 0.11%, closing at $529.52.


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