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One of the reasons why Intel Corp.’s application processors for mobile devices have not gained traction on the market of smartphones and tablets is because they so far have not offered any tangible improvements compared to ARM-based offerings. However, it looks like Intel has made itself a decent new selling-point – 64-bit compute capability – by developing a special version of Google Android operating system.

At the Consumer Electronics Show last week Intel stated it had completed the work on the kernel of Google Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” operating system that supports x86 microprocessors and 64-bit compute capability. The version of Google Android, which is fully compatibility with the third-party software ever developed for the platform, will power next-generation smartphones and tablets based on Intel Atom system-on-chips (SoCs). Those smartphones and tablets will, for the first time for Android, support 64-bit processing technology that is common for modern personal computers.

Initially, the 64-bit version of Google Android created by Intel will power media tablets featuring Atom SoCs code-named “Bay Trail-T” with Silvermont micro-architecture that are made using 22nm process technology. Slates based on the “Bay Trail-T” platform are already available on the market, but rely on either 32-bit Android or 64-bit/32-bit Windows 8 operating systems. The first tablets to feature 64-bit Android will be available in the first half of 2014.

Going forward, the 64-bit version of Android will power smartphones based on the code-named “Merrifield” application processor that also boasts Silvermont core(s) as well as 64-bit technology. The chip is made using 22nm process technology. Smartphones featuring Merrifield and 64-bit Android will be available in the second half of next year.

Intel is expected to shed further light on 64-bit Google Android and the Merrifield chip, which is targeted at high-end smartphones, at the Mobile World Congress trade-show in Barcelona, Spain, next month, reports Computerworld web-site.

At present there are no Google Android-based mobile devices with 64-bit processing capability. According to Intel, the technology can boost performance by up to 40% in such applications like Adobe Photoshop. Although the latter is not really popular on tablets, demands for higher performance on mobile devices is growing rapidly these days and 64-bit will likely gain popularity at least for some apps.

Apple last year installed 64-bit-capable application processors into its latest iPhone 5s and iPad Air products, immediately claiming that it was a step ahead of the Android platform. With Intel’s new chips and Android build, the Cupertino, California-based company no longer can claim 64-bit exclusivity on the market of mobile devices.

Tags: Intel, Google, Android, Atom, Merrifield, Bay Trail, Windows 8, 64-bit, ARM, 22nm

Discussion

Comments currently: 8
Discussion started: 01/13/14 07:47:52 PM
Latest comment: 01/20/14 08:40:56 AM
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[1-6]

1. 
Mud in the face of Microsoft. What did happen to that term WinTel?
1 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 01/13/14 08:34:56 PM]
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2. 
Is this an act of retaliation against M/S? Or just sour grapes. Or maybe a very loud whisper that we are pissed off?
0 1 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 01/13/14 10:43:33 PM]
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3. 
Not for me! Not with remote capabilities embedded in Intel chips.
0 0 [Posted by: mosu  | Date: 01/14/14 01:10:59 AM]
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4. 
According to Intel, the technology can boost performance by up to 40% in such applications like Adobe Photoshop


Well thats the laugh of the day done with, who on earth uses a smartphone/tablet to edit photo's ??
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 01/16/14 01:54:03 AM]
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- collapse thread

 
0 0 [Posted by: Kiran AK  | Date: 01/16/14 02:43:22 AM]
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5. 
Very cool, the first AMD64 based smartphones will feature Intel chips, and the first Android build to support AMD64 was developed by Intel.

Another point. As I remember, while Win64 runs Win32 apps smoothly thanks to WOW64, AMD64 Lixux used to be very troubling running apps compiled for IA-32 kernel. Their (Lixux users) luck was the fact that most Lixux apps were compiled prior to install or shipped for specific distros. If Intel's AMD64 Android is able to run legacy (ARM?) apps with no trouble to user, it will be amazing.

Last. As I remember, AMD64 brough little performance advantage for use cases that didn't require 64bit ints. So why is Intel claiming that AMD64 delivers 20% and even 40% performance gain in some cases?
0 0 [Posted by: Hikari  | Date: 01/20/14 08:36:52 AM]
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6. 
And Wintel is really failing in tablet and smartphone markets. Both CPU and OS are not welcome at all on these tools. Ppl are mad on Win8's rudeness.

Of course Intel won't help M$ by avoiding Android. If possible, they will welcome iOS too (as they did years ago with Mac).

Users are more resistent to Windows than to Intel CPUs. Most don't even know what CPU is on their toys. Intel will sell way better if their chips come feeding Android and legacy software!
0 0 [Posted by: Hikari  | Date: 01/20/14 08:40:56 AM]
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