Intel unveils Reference Design Program for new range of budget Android tablets

Android tablets based on Intel architecture should soon hit the market faster thanks to a new programme being rolled out by Intel to assist ODMs and OEMs building devices.

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The Intel Reference Design Program for Android offers to assist ODMs and OEMs with the tricky process of bringing a low-cost tablet to market by speeding it up and helping to bring down the cost of engineering.

Its main aspect is the provision of a single binary image for Android that means ODMs/OEMs can pick from a pre-determined set of components or a complete bill of materials specification and build a system from there.

Intel will manage the full certification process for its customers so that ODMs/OEMs can focus on putting in the work elsewhere and the OS provided by Intel will also be pre-certified for compliance with CTS.

In terms of future versions of Android, Intel has committed to having the latest update available within two weeks of Google announcing it and it will issue these updates for at least two years after a device has been released.

“It’s exciting to see Intel bring their years of expertise in reference designs to Android in order provide high-quality Android tablets and speed up time-to-market for manufacturers,” said Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Engineering for Android, Google. “The result of this program will be devices powered by Intel’s technologies, together with an operating system that is up-to-date and includes popular apps from Google such as Chrome, Maps and YouTube, offering a great overall user experience.”

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Intel expects the first devices to hit the market before the end of 2014 and manufacturers should be confirmed in due course.