Intel announces Atom Android deal at IDF

Intel has announced a partnership with Google at IDF which will see the Android mobile platform further optimised for use on Atom processors, highlighting the company's continued attempts to assault British chip giant ARM where it is strongest.

The partnership, announced at the Intel Developer Forum by president Paul Otellini and Google senior veep Andy Rubin, is designed to make it easier for OEMs to produce smartphones and tablets using Intel's x86-based Atom low-power processors instead of rival ARM's designs.

"By optimising the Android platform for Intel architecture, we bring a powerful new capability to market that will accelerate more industry adoption and choice, and bring exciting new products to market that harness the combined potential of Intel technology and the Android platform," claimed Otellini at the event. "Together we are accelerating Intel architecture and bringing new levels of innovation to a maturing Android platform."

While Google's Rubin was a little more understated, he too agreed that the deal should lead to interesting things for his company's burgeoning Android ecosystem. "Combining Android with Intel’s low power smartphone roadmap opens up more opportunity for innovation and choice," said Rubin. "This collaboration will drive the Android ecosystem forward."

This isn't the first time Intel has shouted from the rooftops that Android is supported on x86 chips like its Atom range: the company has worked long and hard on modifying the open-source platform from its original ARM architecture for use with the Atom, and even found Google opting to use its Atom CE-series consumer electronics chips in the first generation Google TV products.

Sadly for Intel, the lure of Atom - which still runs hotter than an equivalent ARM chip, sapping power from the device's battery - has proven avoidable, with most companies choosing to stick with the tried and tested ARM architecture for their mobile devices.

That's something Otellini is keen to change, but whether official sanction on its x86 Android port from Rubin will be enough to turn the tide remains to be seen.