Intel deals a preemptive strike on Android-on-x86 battery optimization


Chipmaker Intel is still on the cusp of making its big entry into the consumer smartphone business, but at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, the company is providing a look at some of its advancements in the field, including the first real-time graphics performance and power analysis tool suite for Medfield that will be spotlighted at the Game Developers Conference in a little more than one week's time.

The Intel GPA System Analyzer is a developer tool that can capture real-time metrics of Android games and apps running on the Medfield processor, with the ability to switch between different rendering scenarios in the app (wire frame only, no alpha, textures only, rendering distance, different resolutions, etc.) to optimally tune it for best performance.

"Gaming is probably the largest segment for smartphone apps today," Intel's Craig Hurst told BetaNews, while running Modern Combat on his reference design Lenovo smartphone. "This is not just about being able to make a game that is visually stunning, but being able to play it for more than an hour, or however long you want to play it. The next big wave for optimization is about power and battery life, and it is so important for these new devices that we're building."

Naturally, power management and battery life are among the biggest issues Intel faces in its mobile endeavors, so this tool is meant to give developers a strong grip on power.

"Looking out at the industry, there's really no good set of power tools that are out there, and every developer we talk to is asking for it," Hurst said. "They absolutely want something to help them manage power on their games and media applications, because there's relaly nothing out there for them."

Currently, GPA System Analyzer is still just a proof of concept, and the demonstration Intel is giving in Barcelona this week is limited. But GDC is just around the corner, after all, so we'll be looking for some actual announcements about Intel's Android game developer tools next week.

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