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Intel bringing Android 3.0 to x86-based CPUs

The chipmaker sets its sight on the Android platform and is devoted to porting its source code for x86 processors by the end of this year.

During a conference earlier this week, Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced that the chipmaker is currently in the process of porting Android Honeycomb to the resilient x86 architecture.

Intel has reportedly received the Android 3.0 source code directly from Google and may even begin releasing Honeycomb tablets as soon as this year. “[We] expect to be able to ramp those [Honeycomb] machines over the course of this year for a number of customers,” explained Otellini to an audience of reporters and analysts. “Over the course of this year, Intel will have tablet platforms that run Windows, Android, and MeeGo.” Future Atom processors, or even the recently released Oak Trail, are expected to run Android 3.0 when Intel is done porting the Android code for x86 compatibility.

In order to compete with the more popular ARM-based tablets, Intel likely knows that it cannot rely solely on Windows 7, nor can the company continue to ignore Google’s Android OS.  A successful port of the Android platform could be the leap Intel needs to bring itself out of obscurity in the tablet market. Along with the expected dozens of new Oak Trail devices starting this May, we may begin seeing Intel eat noticeable tablet market share away from ARM before the end of 2011.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-04-21 (Update: 2012-05-26)