You may remember that during the IDF keynote, Google had committed to provide builds of Android that run on the Intel X86 architecture. This is now done and Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich, is now ready and available for download. The build is mainly there for handset makers, but it’s free for all to take a peek – maybe you’ll find an interesting string that would hint to the next big thing [download page].
Android on X86 may mean several things in the intermediate future: first, it is probable that Intel-powered tablets will make an appearance at some point in time. Secondly, an Intel-powered handset is still a long-term goal for the semiconductor giant. At this point, power consumption is still challenging for Intel, which comes from a tradition of “computer” chips versus “mobile” chips. However, the company has made quick progress in reducing the overall power consumption of its Atom series.
With a steady drop in power consumption from Intel and a steady rise in processing capabilities from ARM, both companies will eventually collide – the question is where and how.