Featured: First Intel Medfield Android Smartphones Launch This Week, Is ARM In Trouble?


How Will Intel Change Android

During this weeks Q1 earnings call Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced that the first Intel Atom based Medfield Android smartphones would begin shipping this week. Intel made announcements at both CES and MWC this year touting their new entry into the mobile arena, and a number of OEM already developing devices for the new platform. The devices will rock a x86  1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2460 processor with hyper-threading where a single physical core operates as 2 cores from the OS's perspective, which may seem lack luster with all the Tegra 3s and upcoming quad core Exynos being touted lately.



The performance however is much greater than the the single core atom SoC would have you believe besting the fastest dual core devices in both Browsermark and SunSpider Javascript benchmarks even running on the outdated Gingerbread OS. Showing that the world's most successful chip maker is bringing their A game to the mobile sector.


The Future

Andy Rubin announced that all future versions of Android will be designed to take advantage if Intel's x86 architecture from the kernel level on up. With single core performance already setting such high performance marks the future of Google and Intel looks promising. Taking into consideration Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility and Motorola's already announced long term agreement to produce mobile devices with Intel SoCs inside 2012 may be the year that Android starts a shift towards x86 processors a departure from the ARM only platform it is today.  After all if Google has chosen to use Intel inside its own mobile devices other manufacturers are sure to follow.


One thing that cannot be denied is Intel's performance chips and their chip fabrication technology leadership.  When it comes to pushing performance boundaries there is no one more capable then Intel in the PC market they have reached a level where the only performance benchmarks they compete with are their own. Take this approach to mobile and it isn't too far fetched to see Intel competing with the likes of Qualcomm in a couple of years time for units shipped. While having more efficient and higher performance processors to boot. The current Medfield SoC has yet to incorporate any if Intel's advance technologies present in their desktop line and it is only a matter of time before that expertise makes it transition into mobile. One key area will be in memory bandwidth an area current ARM SoC are seriously lacking.  Do you see a tide change happening in the Mobile processor market?

A Google/ Intel mobile team will push both hardware and software at levels I don't foresee anyone being able to match and I for one am excited to see it beginning to take shape.