Intel announces new Intel Reference Design for Android program for OEMs


The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus announcements may have taken over the airwaves on Tuesday afternoon but Apple wasn’t the only company with an event in San Francisco.

Intel kicked off its annual developer conference, IDF, in Moscone West on Tuesday morning. The conference runs through until Thursday but most of the big announcements were made during CEO Brian Krzanich’s keynote speech earlier today.

Intel today revealed that it has been collaborating with Google to create a new reference tablet for Android developers and manufacturers. Dubbed Intel Reference Design for Android, the goal is to make it easier for manufacturers to bring Intel-based Android tablets to market as quickly as possible.

Doug Fisher, VP and general manager of Intel’s Software and Services division, explained via the official Intel Blog that through the Intel Reference Design Program, the company will provide a single binary image for Android. ODMs and OEMs will be able to choose from a pre-qualified set of components or a complete BOM specification. The company is also going to handle the certification process for Google Mobile Services.

The idea is that by laying out a pre-approved list of parts and taking care of GMS certification, manufacturers don’t have to do the leg work of building a device suitable for Android and then applying for certification from Google. Manufacturers will be able to get their devices into production that much faster, which should mean they make it to market faster, too. For users, it will mean a more consistent Android experience thanks to a certain level of consistency at the hardware level.

Intel is also guaranteeing updates for Intel Reference Design for Android devices within two weeks of AOSP updates. The company is promising to provide that service for two years after launch. Intel said today that it expects 100 Android devices based on Intel chips to ship this year alone.