Head Android honcho Andy Rubin made a cameo earlier today at Intel's Developer Forum to announce something we've all know was coming for a while now: Android support for Intel chips -- namely, the low-powered Atom processor.

Beginning next year, all versions of Android will come ready to run on Intel silicon from the core of the system up, and to show the progress that has already been made on that front, an Android-powered tablet and phone running on an Intel Medifield chip was displayed. The manufacturer of the prototype hardware wasn't named, only that we'd see phones with Intel chips in "early 2012."

Santa Clara and Mountain View, Calif., Sept. 13, 2011 – Intel Corporation and Google Inc. today announced that they will work to enable and optimize future versions of Android™ for Intel's family of low power Atom™ processors. This means that future versions of the Android platform will support Intel technology in addition to other architectures.

The joint effort is designed to speed time-to-market of Intel technology-based smartphones running the Android platform. Intel will take advantage of the open-source accessibility of the Android platform to provide its customers with technology products that inspire continued innovation and also help enable powerful personal computing experiences that fully leverage Intel technology across a range of devices. This work will enable mobile device OEMs and wireless operators to draw upon the performance and low power capabilities of Intel® architecture and tap into the scale of the x86 developer ecosystem to further drive the adoption of the Android platform.

"By optimizing 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," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini."Together we are accelerating Intel architecture and bringing new levels of innovation to a maturing Android platform."

"Combining Android with Intel's low power smartphone roadmap opens up more opportunity for innovation and choice," said Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google. "This collaboration will drive the Android ecosystem forward."

Today's announcement builds upon the two companies' recent joint initiatives to enable Intel architecture on Google products, which include Chrome OS and Google TV along with the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) and Native Development Kit (NDK).

[via This is my next]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://http://www.linkedin.com/in/johndrefahl @johnsin

    What's this mean for GoogleTV & the Logitech Revue which is powered by an Intel processor? Is this the "Hardware Acceleration" update we have been hearing about and waiting for?

  • Ted Lovejoy

    So will I be able to run Android on my old Acer netbook?

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

    This could fundamentally change the Android tablet market, if you connect it to the availability of Windows 8 next year. We can potentially be able to go out and buy any Windows 8 capable tablet PC and install Android onto it!


    • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

      And give your money to Microsoft when you buy the tablet that comes with the Windows 8 license so that Microsoft can continue to sue anyone in the Android supply chain?

      • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

        Well, you can see it this way, but you can also see it from another perspective that it can open up to the market so that we can freely choose the hardware, upgrade the Android OS at our own pace, etc. Plus, if the demand from the Android is strong enough, the PC makers might just offer the tablet PC pre-installed with Android.

  • http://extremeshowoff.com Sener

    So what will this mean for Qualcomm, Nividia, etc. processors???

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

      Probably nothing. I think it will be a while before the Intel processor can be as efficient as an ARM processor when it comes to mobile computing. So, Android on ARM will move forward as usual.

      On the other hand, Windows 8 will also be available on ARM. Now, whether that means we can just pick an ARM-powered Windows 8 tablet and install Android remain to be seen. I am doubtful that this will happen because legacy x86 apps won't run natively on ARM-powered Win8 PC, so Microsoft might not support legacy app on them at all. If that's the case, there won't be an incentive to sell and make them using the traditional PC model. Meaning, ARM-powered Win8 PC may be locked down just like all current generation of Android tablets.

  • sergiu

    this means that that's when they'll also make a decent emulator. The current one actually has to emulate ARM instructions, hopefully the new one will run apps natively on Intel processors