Intel workers have Android Jelly Bean on Atom phones

Sep 14, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(—Intel watchers by now understand the quick version of Intel's to-do list: Join and grow up in smartphone market universe, fire up Ultrabooks and, by both means, show better profit outlook. Intel needs to become a more credible brand behind smartphones as well as PCs, and a lot of the creds will now depend on Medfield, the SoC behind its foray into the smartphone market against rival ARM.

Medfield refers to 's low-power Atom chips. The Medfield processors presently used in smartphones are single-core Atom chips. There are plans for a dual-core Medfield chip later this year.

This week, though, the buzz about Intel's vision for smartphones centers on comments made at the . Intel has completed an Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) port for its Atom smartphone.

Intel is porting the Android 4.1 operating system to work on smartphones and tablets using its low-power Atom processors, known as Medfield. The fate of this Jelly Bean and Medfield now rests with carriers, though, and not with Intel. Carriers and phone vendors will be the ones to sound their trumpets about Android 4.1 testing and deployment. Intel said that to date the Medfield-Android 4.1 build is complete and running on Intel workers' devices–the employees, in codename terms, are using Medfield smartphones with Jelly Bean. The carriers will now take the phones and put them through "acceptance" testing.

The smartphones that are based on a single-core Atom chip are being introduced to consumers through such names as Orange, , Lava International, and . Motorola is expected to announce a smartphone based on Intel chips next week. Analysts have assessed the Motorola alliance as an important one for Intel's smartphone prospects.

The Google Motorola smartphone alliance represents promising returns for Intel. By backing and contributing to Android, observers say that Intel can leverage the popularity of this operating system in order to get handset manufacturers and carriers solidly on board with the Atom platform.

According to reports, Google's Motorola has sent invites for an event to be held by Motorola and Intel on September 18. The event is the unveiling of a smartphone. Late last month, 's Motorola unit confirmed plans to release its first powered by an Intel chip in London on that day. Earlier this year, Motorola signed a multi-year, multi-device partnership with Intel to produce Android-powered smartphones and tablets built with Intel processors.

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not rated yet Sep 15, 2012
Join and grow up in smartphone market universe ...

Nothing preventing them from just building ARM chips if that's all they want to do.

I'm less than enthusiastic about the prospect of the unpleasant x86 architecture becoming prevalent in yet another sector.

What do they propose to support, e.g. Android native code apps?
not rated yet Sep 15, 2012
Intel's goal is to gain some control over the portable market by getting it's instruction set in there.

Since Intel owns the patent for the x86 instruction set it can limit who can and can not produce x86 compatible CPU's and therefore it can funnel vast amounts of cash into it's corporate account.

It is just another example of how corporations profit from artificially manufactured scarcity.