Google will collaborate to optimise Android for Atom processor platform to help Intel’s mobile push
Intel executives are continuing to push their mobile computing efforts on multiple fronts, including with a newly announced partnership with Google to optimise the Android operating system for the chip maker’s Atom processor platform.
In his opening keynote on the first day of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini said the partnership with Google will be a key part of his company’s smartphone plans, with the first Intel-based smartphones due out in the first half of 2012.
“The first phones … will be all Android-based, hence the importance of the Google partnership,” Otellini said during a question-and-answer period with journalists and analysts after the keynote.
Google’s Rubin Demos Intel Prototype
Otellini was joined on stage by Andy Rubin (pictured), senior vice president of mobile for Google, and the two showed off a prototype smartphone running Intel’s “Medfield” chip and the Android “Honeycomb” operating system.
The Google partnership came during a talk by Otellini that continued the computing continuum message he first brought up at the IDF in 2009. The idea is that users are looking to have a consistent and secure computing experience that can move from device to device without interruption, and Otellini outlined the way Intel is pushing toward that goal.
“The era of ubiquitous computing is now here, and it’s well-established,” he said.
Intel’s ultrabook strategy, first broached during the Computex show in May, is a key part of the strategy. Intel executives see ultrabooks as very thin and light laptops that offer many of the features of tablets – from long battery life to instant-on capabilities – and the advantages of traditional notebooks around such areas as productivity and compatibility with other systems.
Otellini said such OEMs as Asus, Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba are already beginning to ship – or will ship before the holiday season – the first wave of ultrabooks powered by current 2nd Generation Core processors. The next round will come in 2012 and will run on Intel’s upcoming 22-nanometre “IvyBridge” chips, he said.
The third stage will be around Intel’s “Haswell” processor, a system-on-a-chip (SoC) design that Otellini said will cut idle platform power by 20 times, and will offer as much as 10 days worth of battery life in “standby usage”. The design of Haswell – due out in 2013 – is complete, he said.
Atom-Based Android Tablet
Intel also demonstrated a number of upcoming features that are designed to give users a consistency across multiple computing devices. With an Intel engineer, Otellini showed off a Cisco Cius business tablet powered by an Atom chip and running Android.
They also showed off an application called Pair and Share that enables users to easily move around photos and data from one device to another. The engineer took a photo of Otellini on stage using the Intel-based smartphone, then instantly transferred that image to an Acer all-in-one computer. Another feature, called the Teleport Extender, lets users communicate via on devices such as the Acer computer.
Those applications are available to OEMs today to put into their systems, Otellini said.
The engineer, using a Toshiba ultrabook, demonstrated another application that enables users to more easily share everything from video to photos to messages via a central digital dashboard accessible to others. That application will be available next year, the engineer said.
DeepSAFE Born From McAfee Merger
In the area of security, Otellini (pictured with Rubin) said the pairing of Intel and security software vendor McAfee – which Intel bought last year for $7.6 billion – will result in DeepSAFE, a software-and-hardware platform that works with Intel’s Core chips that operates below the operating-system level to provide greater protection against malware.
Candace Worley, senior vice president and general manager of endpoint security at McAfee, said that traditional software-based security offerings cannot give the same kind of security that solutions with a hardware element can. Sharing the stage with Otellini, Worley said the DeepSAFE technology – which MacAfee will launch later this year – leverages Intel’s Virtualisation Technology (VT).
During his keynote, Otellini also demonstrated a solar-powered Pentium chip. He said there were no immediate plans to productise the solar-powered technology, but wanted to show some of the ways Intel engineers are working to help drive down the power consumption of the products.