Google releases Android 4.0.1 source code
Google has proudly released an x86 version of the Android 4.0.1 source code, bringing the dream of x86-based Android devices a step closer.
It will take months, if not more, for actual products to materialize, so don’t expect Intel or AMD Android tablets anytime soon. At this point functionality seems rather limited, but this is to be expected from the first version. The source code is stable and it offers some basic features, but hardware acceleration for AMD chips is already on board.
However, lack of a proper lightweight OS is hardly the main reason why we don’t see too many x86 tablets in shops. Neither Intel nor AMD have processors capable of coming close to ARM-based chips in terms of power efficiency. This is slowly starting to change, and both companies are developing dedicated x86 tablet chips with power consumption in the low single digits.
Bear in mind that these chips won’t be limited to Android tablets once they come out, since Windows 8 could be the OS of choice for many manufacturers and consumers who crave more compatibility with desktop applications.