Intel releases Android 4.4 KitKat with 64-bit kernel for Intel Architecture

Intel releases Android 4.4 KitKat with 64-bit kernel for Intel Architecture
Intel at MWC 2014 had promised that the company will soon reveal a 64-bit version of Android. The company at the Intel Developer Forum in Shenzhen on Wednesday finally released a version of Android 4.4 KitKat with a 64-bit kernel optimised for Intel Architecture devices.

CNET cites an Intel spokesperson saying, "With this release, the company ported, validated and tested the Android Open Source code on IA (Intel Architecture), taking on the work that developers typically would need to do on their own. This release will provide the ecosystem with 64-bit kernel support for development of next-generation devices". Intel noted Android KitKat is a 32-bit OS, but could now be used with Intel's 64-bit processors because of the new kernel support.

Earlier, Intel at MWC 2014 released a new 64-bit Atom processor for smartphones. The Intel Atom Z3480, codenamed Merrifield, has been based on the same 22nm Silvermont architecture as the Bay Trail-T processor series for tablets.

Merrifield has been aimed at devices running Android, and claimed to offer best-in-class battery life as well as better performance than a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 in multiple usage scenarios.

It can run at up to 2.13GHz and feature integrated graphics handed by a PowerVR G6400 GPU which is twice as fast as the graphics on the previous-generation Atom Z2580.

Intel also took the wraps off its new product codenamed Braswell, which would succeed the current Bay Trail platform and be manufactured on the upcoming 14nm process. Bay Trail has been sold as Intel Atom, Celeron and Pentium products, which usually have been found inside low-cost entry-level laptops.

Like its predecessor, Braswell would be SoC (system-on-a-chip) product. Intel also specifically acknowledged the growing popularity of Chromebooks. The company announced that over 20 Chromebooks would hit the market with Braswell processors. As Intel looked to ChromeOS and Android to help it compete in the mobile devices market, it would also aim to reduce the prices of entry-level tablets to under $100 (approximately Rs. 6,000).

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