Hands-on: Intel's Android smartphone reference design [video]

Leading PC chipmaker Intel shook the Consumer Electronics show on Monday with the announcement that its Atom processors will be shipping in Android-based smartphones by Motorola and Lenovo in the second half of the year.

“The best of Intel computing is coming to smartphones,” said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini in a statement on Monday. “Our efforts with Lenovo and Motorola Mobility will help to establish Intel processors in smartphones and provide a solid foundation from which to build in 2012 and into the future.”

Until now, Intel's presence in the smartphone world was extremely limited, but the company announced in September that it was working on porting Google's Android operating system to its x86-based mobile processor family on the processor platform formerly codenamed "Medfield."

While not a game-changing innovation for Android (there are now at least three x86 chipmakers who have built their own version of the operating system), it certainly changes the game for Intel, who had been more or less sidelined by the explosion in ARM-based processors.

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