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MWC: Intel pledges to keep Google's Android safe from hackers

Also signs up Asus, Dell and Lenovo to develop Intel mobile devices
Tue Feb 25 2014, 09:43
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BARCELONA: INTEL HAS PLEDGED to help save Android users from malware, in a clear effort to boost interest in its latest Merrifield and Moorefield Atom mobile processors.

Intel president Renee James announced the plans at the company's Mobile World Congress (MWC) keynote in Barcelona.

"This morning we're announcing that we're making our mobile security software offering free both from the app store and resellers. The will include device protection for Android that works in partnership with software from McAfee that blocks malware as well as enhanced security at a hardware chip level," she said.

The move will see Intel offer customers a number of security services. One of the biggest will be the company's Intel Device Protection Technology (Intel DPT). The technology is designed to ward off malware by letting companies separate personal and corporate data on Intel-based Android devices, a little like Knox and Blackberry Balance.

On a smaller scale the move will see Intel offer a number of free McAfee security services. These include McAfee Mobile Security, which comprises antivirus, app protection, web protection and call/SMS filtering, in addition to anti-theft protection and contact backup.

To sweeten the pot even further, James also announced a programme for Android developers. She said, "I'm also announcing a new developer programme for Android. There will be tools, developer kits and we'll also be running all our usual hackathons and contests, one of which will have a million dollar first prize."

According to Intel, the move has already proven a hit with many OEM companies and Asus, Dell and Lenovo have announced plans to release devices based on Intel's latest Merrifield and Moorefield Atom chip architectures.

Intel Merrifield and Moorefield slide

Intel VP of the Mobile and Communications Group, Hermann Eul, unveiled the partnerships and promised that the devices will run on a variety of ecosystems at multiple price points ranging "from $99 to $400-plus".

"Asus has a complete line-up of devices using platforms ranging from Atom, Cloverfield to Merrifield lined up. Another core partnership [is] Dell - there's an Android tablet that we have supported Dell on building," he said.

"Then we have Lenovo building Windows devices. When I say we have partnerships I mean we have them to cater to all the platforms we have and in all the market segments."

It is unclear how long the partnerships will last and Intel declined requests to provide further details.

The new dual-core Merrifield and quad-core Moorefield Atom processor lines both feature 64-bit architecture and are designed to outperform competing top-end processors, such as the Apple A7 chip. The chips are also LTE 4G Cat 6 enabled.

Intel president Renee James said that the processors are a key part of the company's ongoing strategy to become a key player in the Internet of Things revolution.

"We've thought about how Atom and devices fit with the Internet of Things and from there how our tech programs like Edison transition through the network and into the data centre. Thanks to this, many of our efforts are coming to fruition and we've made significant advances in mobile computing," she said.

Despite Intel's ambitious plans for success, the company is still a fairly small player in the mobile arena, and so far only a few handsets have arrived in the UK with Intel processors.

Perhaps worryingly for Intel, key mobile competitor Qualcomm has already made a move to ensure that Intel chips won't gain too much traction in the market by unveiling its latest Snapdragon 801 processor mere moments after Intel's keynote. µ

 

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