Things are about to heat up in a big way in the handheld mobile space, a sector that's currently dominated by ARM. Intel has long said it plans to push its platforms into smartphones and tablets, and the Santa Clara chip maker took a gigantic step towards that goal by getting Google to agree to optimize future versions of Android for Atom processors. Should ARM be worried?
Yes, to be frank. This is exactly the sort of deal Intel needed to strong arm its way into a mobile space it doesn't yet dominate. There's still the hardware to figure out, but on the software side, this is a big deal.
"Our collaboration with Google will bring a powerful new capability to market that helps accelerate industry innovation, adoption and choice," said Paul Otellini, Intel President and CEO. "I'm excited by the possibilities of this collaboration. It will enable our customers to bring exciting new products and user experiences to market that harness the combined potential of Intel architecture and the Android platform."
Otellini made the announcement during a keynote at IDF in which he also shared some details about Intel's upcoming "Haswell" platform for Ultrabooks. As the successor to Ivy Bridge, Haswell is also built on a 22nm manufacturing process, but promises to reduce idle platform power consumption by more than 20 times over current designs without giving up any performance. According to Intel, this will make possible more than 10 days of connected standby battery life and will help advance always-on-always-connected computing. Haswell is slated for 2013.