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Intel runs Android on Atom-charged phones

Intel is running Google's Android mobile OS on smartphones based on its Atom microprocessors, IDG newswire reports.

Renee James, general manager of Intel's software and services group, told hacks sniffing around the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing, that the software was already working on Atom-powered phones.

"Intel is enabling all OSes for Atom phones," James said.

Big Intel is targeting little ARM in its desire to extend its reach from the big fat chips it has traditionally made to the tiddly things it has been fumbling with for a couple of years now.

Intel wailed for while that the Internet was built on x86 architecture, and so Arm's RISC-based chips were therefore inferior. It seems to have dropped that line recently.

Arm's latest chip designs are certainly less power-hungry than Atom, which is why phones based on Atom chips are currently as rare as hen's teeth. Acer introduced netbooks running Android last year.

Atom-phones are likely to remain netbook sized for a while yet, or remain permanently plugged into to the wall.