SAN FRANCISCO: INTEL OBVIOUSLY THINKS OEMs aren't producing enough low-cost Intel-powered Android tablets, as the firm has unveiled an Android reference design programme that aims to ramp up production of such devices worldwide.
The Reference Design [Programme] for Android was announced on stage during a keynote at the firm's Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in California. Intel SVP and GM for the Software and Services Group Doug Fisher said the programme is meant to make it easier for the industry to bring Android devices based on Intel architecture to market.
The programme will provide manufacturers with a single binary image for Android and within this, the OEMs or ODMs can choose from a pre-qualified set of components or a complete BOM specification and then build a system. This, Intel hopes, will increase the speed within which they are able to create and ship new products while reducing their engineering costs.
Intel said it will also simplify its customers' access to Google Mobile Services, that is, proprietary apps and services from Google bundled with Android devices. Intel will also manage the entire certification process so the ODMs and OEMs can focus their efforts elsewhere.
Intel's Android image will also be pre-certified for compliance with the Compatibility Test Suite (CTS).
"As of 4 September, just over 20 percent of the devices accessing Google Play operated on Android KitKat - an OS that has been available for nearly a year. Intel's [programme] increases the speed with which users have access to the latest Android release, helping ensure the user has the latest image as well as patches within two weeks of release from Google," said Fisher.
"This [programme] will help. Any device shipped via the Intel Reference Design for Android [programme] will get guaranteed updates within two weeks of an AOSP update."
Fisher said Intel will provide that update service for two years following device launch. This allows end-users to test the latest version of Android and remain current with important OS updates, Fisher added.
"To be sure, it's a big investment, but big investments in software aren't new to Intel."
A detailed list of the criteria of the Android reference design [programme] is available on the Intel website. µ
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