Intel is aiming to grab a significant share of the smartphone market via its tried-and-tested approach in the PC industry, using huge investments in hardware and software expertise to deliver a complete platform that partners can use as a shortcut to market.
Following the launch of the Orange San Diego handset, the first smartphone powered by Intel's Atom Z2460 chip to hit the UK, the company's plans will serve as a warning to existing players in this market, especially those in the ARM processor ecosystem.
Intel is also focusing exclusively on Android rather than Microsoft's Windows Phone platform for the moment, citing customer demand for Google's platform.
Mike Bell, vice president of the Intel Architecture Group, told a select audience of the UK IT press that the company was taking advantage of the expertise built up around the Intel Architecture (IA) ecosystem in the PC arena to develop better phones.
"The thousands of people we have had helping to optimise PC applications inside Intel, we have now re-targeted to help debug and optimise Android applications. We've taken the whole PC juggernaut we had in terms of hardware and software development and turned it to mobile," he said.
However, there are no plans for an "Intel Phone" along the lines of the Google Nexus, according to Bell, with Intel preferring to instead produce reference designs that shorten the time to market for handset vendors and network operators.
Although Intel is very late to the party as far as the mobile phone industry goes, Bell claimed that this does not place the company at a disadvantage.
The majority of mobile applications are developed using developer frameworks such as Java, he claimed, and so are not tied to any specific chip architecture as is the case with Windows applications in the PC industry.
"No-one has an advantage right now. We know how to build processor cores really well, and the fact that we're building the cores, the chip and we have the process technology means we have the ability to build a full solution," he said.
Intel's major disadvantage in the mobile market has always been the high power consumption of even its most frugal x86 processors when compared with the ARM-based designs that dominate the industry.
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