Android on an x86 Tablet
Android on an x86 tablet? Seemed like an impossible task, until now.
Previously, Android was limited to running on tablets and phones with an ARM processor, such as the NVDIA, Samsung and Qualcomm processors. However, Intel has been working hard to grab a larger share of the market that currently uses ARM processors.
Companies such as Intel and AMD manufacturer processor chips or CPUs using an x86 architecture. The x86 CPUs have been primarily for full size PCs supporting, originally DOS, and now, Windows, Linux, etc. Previously, x86 CPUs were power hogs requiring large amounts of power and generating large amounts of heat. These machines required relatively large fans and heat management designs. As PCs became smaller and more portable running on batteries, this caused a challenge with manufacturers to design more efficient CPUs that drew less power and generated less heat. Even some notebooks had heat issues and required extra fans to keep them running at a good speed.
With the advent of the tablet PC, they don’t have fans. The ARM processors run cool and draw much less power. Batteries lasted longer due to the lower energy requirements. x86 manufacturers felt the pressure to produce the same cool running processors, but maintain the speed and reliability.
Intel released the Atom line of processors as a low power SoC (System on Chip) to support the x86 based operating systems, such as Windows. So, it was ARM for Android, and x86 for Windows. Until now…..
Android on an x86 tablet
Last year, Intel announced a version of their SoC Atom processor family designed for smartphones and tablets. Based on a partnership between Intel and Google, this new Atom processor will support the Android operating system.
Initially, the Atom family was not designed to support the Linux/Android operating systems, but that has been corrected with this new series of processors.
We are just now seeing Android on an x86 tablet from manufacturers such as the ASUS, Samsung, Acer, Toshiba, and HP are all running the Android operating system using an Intel Atom x86 processor.