Intel chips are the brains of most desktop and laptop computers, but the company has not yet been able to produce a successful processor for the mobile phone or tablet market. Today, Intel announced that an Android phone powered by an Intel chip will be on the market in early 2012, and all future builds of Android will be optimized for Intel silicon.
Android will be designed from the kernel up to optimize performance on Intel chips. The official announcement does not commit the two companies to producing a physical product, but Google is now allowing for the possibility. From a consumer perspective, more companies producing parts can only benefit buyers. Currently, there are no big-name smartphones or tablets powered by Intel, so it will take some time for Intel to gain market share.
Currently, ARM chipsets are the king of smartphones and tablets, but Intel hopes to change things. Apple, Nvidia, Samsung, Texas Instruments, and Qualcomm all make chips based on ARM architecture, but Intel’s Atom processor could be poised to break into the market.
Intel’s attempt to get its chips into mobile devices also carried over to the Windows operating system today, when Microsoft showed off a new Windows 8 tablet with an Intel processor.