Intel has 64 bits for Android

Chipzilla has finished working on a 64-bit version of Android OS for x86 smartphones, and the software will be ready to load on handsets with its upcoming Atom 64-bit Merrifield chip.

Talking to Reuters. a spokesIntel said that Chipzilla had been making code contributions to the 64-bit version of Android 4.4 code-named KitKat and had completed the kernel .  This will make sure that the OS is compatible with smartphones.

It looks like  64-bit Android could reach tablets first. Intel said 64-bit Android tablets powered by its Atom processor code-named Bay Trail will become available in the first half of this year. The tablets are expected to sell for as low as $150.

A full 64-bit Android is not yet available on smartphones or tablets so Intel will actually be stealing a march on other hardware makers.

The next state in the cunning plan is to encourage developers to start writing 64-bit applications for Android smartphones running on Atom chips, the spokesIntel said.

We are expecting to see more news on 64-bit Android and the Merrifield chip at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona next month.

Intel  is still struggling to find its way in the smartphone market, which is dominated by ARM. It moved to Android as the OS of choice for smartphones running on its chips, and getting to 64-bit could give the chipmaker a head start over rivals. Chip makers like Qualcomm, STMicroelectronics and others have announced ARM-based 64-bit chips, and Samsung is not far behind.

Merrifield uses the 22-nanometer manufacturing process. Intel in November updated its roadmap to include new smartphone chips that will start shipping in the second half of this year.