Smartphones On Intel’s Atom Platform – Achievements And Perspectives

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It has been almost a year since Intel’s second coming to the mobile processors market. Surely, it’s too early to make far-reaching conclusions but still we can understand something even at this point.

The most noticeable success measurement of any platform is the number of commercial devices released on its basis. Speaking about Intel, we see around a dozen Medfield-based models and twice as many CloverTrail-based Windows tablets. From the market point of view the number is absolutely unimpressive. But if we consider these models as a first step in the process of creating of a new ecosystem of devices, then it may be more than enough. The main point is that this ecosystem has been developed and devices have been released. It means that it’s possible to test the system on real devices, see the problems and fix them.

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Now let’s take a look at Intel’s plans. Medfield platform is going to be replaced by with CloverTrail+ in powerful Android smartphones and tablets. Lower-cost smartphones will be released on the Lexington base. Later on the company plans to move to the 22-nm technical process and enlarge the number of cores in a new generation of processors Merrifield/Bay Trail. Powerful tablet and hybrid transformers will be supplied with Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors which have lower power consumption.

If we compare Medfield-based device to a CloverTrail+ device (the latest ones) we’ll see the following improvements:

  • Dual-core processor supporting HyperThreading provides improved efficiency in apps;
  • Dual-core GPU provides three times more efficiency from graphic system;
  • Improved video decoder, hardware acceleration;
  • Improved WiDi – WFA Miracast support;
  • Improved navigation;
  • New modems options and improved power efficiency;
  • Improved camera

One of the early Intel-based smartphones problems was incomplete compatibility with the number of Android applications, first of all, multimedia ones. Now native Android apps should work normally on Intel-based devices as well, though a lot depends on the developers themselves – in some situation they need to add some functions for the app to work normally on Intel processors.

What concerns top apps from Android market, Intel checks every one of them for the compatibility with their platform. The same is about navigation apps. So developers can rely on Intel support when optimizing their apps.

Development tools have also been improved. X86 support has been added to Android SDK, and all you need is to install the x86 system image in the SDK manager. Also, Intel offers a free tool which allows optimizing app’s efficiency and power consumption – Intel GPA System Analyzer. This utility shows you in real time metrics for CPU graphics, APIs, graphic core and power consumption. This helps to improve your app.

The work Intel has done on optimizing Android for its platform can easily be measured in numbers and facts. Thus, Intel has made more correction to the Android 4.2 code than anyone else. Another fact is that the company has prepared more than 750 patches for Webkit web-engine (second result after Google). And right now the company is heavily involved into creating new cross-platform tools and development tools.

Thus, with the release of new Atom processor the competition at the market will surely intensify.

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This article has been written by Eugene Rudenko. Eugene Rudenko is a copywriter for IT company Intellectsoft, leading Android software developing company and a preferred Apple (UK) supplier.

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