What percentage of Android devices are powered by Intel? Google partnered with Intel on the first generation of Google TV devices, but we all know how that turned out. If you look at the smartphones and tablets of today, I would guess Intel has around zero percent market share. Intel thinks 2012 will be the year that changes, but we have been hearing that story for the last two years at CES.
Will 2012 finally be the year that we see Intel Inside smartphones and tablets in volume? All signs point to yes, but we have not learned of any design wins yet. Intel and Google recently announced they would optimize future versions of Android for Intel’s family of low power Atom processors, which are expected to be available in the first half of 2012.
The first mobile Atom processor debuted in 2010 and was called Moorestown, but it never made it into retail devices. Now the new and improved 32nm Medfield is ready to try and help Intel win some smartphone and tablets designs.
Thing should get really competitive in 2013 and 2014 thanks to Intel’s advantage in transistors. That’s when they plan to release their 22nm Silvermont and 14nm Airmont.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini described the challenges that both ARM and Intel architectures faced in the next few years during the companies Q3 earnings call. “As the need for computing performance goes up, both the Intel architecture and the ARM architectures face the same fundamental physics problems, which is more performance requires more transistors. I think at the end of the day in these markets, transistors are going to be a defining point of differentiation.”
Company CFO Stacy J. Smith described that Intel’s technology advantage was becoming very difficult for people to match. “At the end, it all comes down to we’re resolving these problems of physics 2 years ahead of the rest of the industry.”
Like I said earlier, it all sounds very impressive. We will wait patiently and see what products get revealed at CES in January. Hopefully Intel is able to be competitive with Snapdragon S4 and Tegra 3.