Android 4 ends up on AMD tablets

Google’s Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” operating system has been ported to work with x86 processors in a move which could help AMD elbow its way into a market dominated by ARM.

Android 4.0 is used on tablets and smartphones but by porting it to AMD chips it could also see the light of day in cheap and cheerful laptops and netbooks too.

When Android 4 hit the shops in October, Google said that it should run on ARM and AMD chips, but the Android 4.0 SDK so far supports only ARM.

Chih-Wei of the Android-x86 project  made the announcement that all is ready here – open source effort has ported the source code of Android 4.0.1 to work with tablets based on the low-power x86 Brazos, which are headed for netbooks and low-end laptops.

Generally we are not seeing a lot of AMD chips in this market other than inside the MSI WindPad 110W. Thanks to the port, Android 4.0 based on x86 chips could be on the horizon, but using AMD’s cheaper chips rather than Intel’s somewhat dull and expensive Atoms.

What we are surprised about is that neither Google, nor AMD thought to do the work themselves as it gives both an advantage in the marketplace.

As it is, the open source port of Android 4.0.1 to x86 is still under development. The team got their source code using Wi-Fi, multitouch, and hardware graphics acceleration capabilities. However it still can’t run sound, camera, and Ethernet networking.