Google and Intel announced a new partnership today at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) that will make future Android releases optimized for Intel chips in addition to the current de facto ARM-based chips. Android smartphone and tablet prototypes were even shown off during the event, running on Intel Atom chips.
The partnership means that future Android versions will include optimization for Intel’s low power Atom processors, the latest being the Medfield chips. Google’s Andy Rubin went on stage holding a smartphone prototype running Android 2.3 Gingerbread with Intel’s Medfield chips inside. A prototype tablet powered by Intel’s Atom processor was also revealed, although no specific manufacturers were named.
Intel promises that the first Android phones to be running on Intel chips would arrive in early 2012. Interestingly, the Google-Intel announcement comes just following Microsoft’s unveiling of Windows 8, which now supports ARM-based chips. Now both chip architectures get to expand into new territory.