At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco this week, Intel announced they have completed their work to port Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to their low-power Atom chips codenamed Medfield. Intel’s vice president and general manager for mobile computing, Mike Bell, indicates that he and several other employees are running it on their smartphone devices.
This news comes a week before Intel is scheduled to to make a big announcement in conjunction with Motorola in London on September 21st. Bell was careful to note that he could not speak to the plans of any particular carrier as Intel only supplies the code to carriers who then have to conduct their own acceptance testing. A timeframe for the first smartphone to ship with an Intel chip and running Jelly Bean is still a mystery.
Intel also discussed some upcoming plans for chip development. These include a dual-core Medfield chip slated for later this year and a new Merrifield chip expected in 2013 to be used in higher-end devices. Intel continues efforts to improve its manufacturing processes to shrink its chips and their power requirements, which are considered higher than ARM chips used to power many devices now in the market. Intel also spent some time reviewing operating system plans. Their primary focus now is on Android for smartphones and Windows 8 for tablet devices. They indicate that they are also active in the Linux-based Tizen OS space and hope to have some devices using Tizen in the future as part of their portfolio.