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).

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