Intel is now looking to the Android operating system as it breaks away from years of optimizing its top line of Core PC processors, including the recently launched Haswell processors, chiefly for Windows.
Intel is looking to hire a program manager whose job will be to manage Android development for the company's upcoming Core chips code-named Broadwell, Haswell's successor due next year. The job listing hints that Android development will continue beyond Broadwell and into future Core chips.
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The listing for an "Android System Software Program Manager" includes responsibilities for "planning and delivery for full system -- across architecture, development, integration and validation."
Intel already backs Android for its low-power Atom tablet and smartphone processors, but the company has not yet talked publicly about Android for Core processors. Core processors have more advanced instruction sets and graphics capabilities than Atom processors, and those would need to be optimized for Android. Rival x86 chip maker Advanced Micro Devices earlier this month moved away from an exclusive focus on Windows and said it will optimize chips for Android and Chrome OS based on customer demand.
Intel is seeing innovation among PC makers and the company will support multiple OS choices, said a company spokesman in an email.
Designs of PCs are changing with tablet-like hybrids and convertibles, and Android could be used in some of those devices, according to Jack Gold, principal analyst at J. Gold Associates.
"It's very smart of them to make sure Android runs on all of Intel's architectures," Gold said. "But Microsoft won't go away anytime soon."
Slow Windows 8 PC and tablet sales have hurt Intel and AMD, but neither will abandon Microsoft's OS anytime soon. Intel's aggressive multi-OS strategy will also help the chip maker compete with ARM, which dominates on Android devices. Android and Windows tablets priced from US$199 to $500 and with Intel's upcoming Atom tablet chips code-named Bay Trail will reach shelves this holiday season.
Intel has already started development of the next-generation Core processor called Broadwell. The chips will be made using the 14-nanometer process, and will initially be released for PCs.