Intel is facing an uphill battle in the mobile space from a marketshare perspective, but there's an additional challenge: the bulk of mobile apps are compiled targeting ARM based CPU cores, not x86. With the launch of Medfield on Android, Intel introduced a binary translation software layer to enable running existing ARM based Android apps on x86. Binary translation is a useful fix for enabling compatibility but it does come with a performance and power penalty. Enabling native x86 applications is ultimately the goal here, BT is just used as a transitional tool. 

As far as I can tell, none of the big game engines (Unity, Unreal Engine) were ported to x86 on Android. As a result, any game that leveraged these engines would be ARM code translated to run on x86. This morning Intel and Unity Technologies announced a native x86 version of the Unity game engine for Android. Selected developers have access to the x86 version today, and it'll be made available to everyone else by the end of the year. There's no charge for the update. Note that this only applies to the Android Unity port, the engine under Windows and all Windows tools are already obviously compiled for x86.

Intel's press release mentions support for both Core and Atom families. I clarified with Intel that the Core reference mainly applies to any Core M (Broadwell Y or Skylake Y) Android tablets, and not a push into Core based smartphones. 

Intel is also working on enabling other game engines, but we'll have to wait to see those announcements. 

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  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - link
  • ruthan - Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - link

    Games, only place where performance really matters..
  • Notmyusualid - Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - link

    Not true!

    I picked up my brother's old Galaxy S the other week, when his current smartphone died, and I got chest pains trying to organize his contacts etc over to it. It was terribly slow.

    So bring on the 'more performance' for me...

    Oh, and as it happens, I spent half an hour with an LG G3 today - that was nice!
  • MrCommunistGen - Thursday, August 21, 2014 - link

    I have a Samsung Captivate (AT&T Galaxy S) that is surprisingly sprightly. I'm running the latest Cyanogenmod (CM11) using the latest Semaphore kernel (which then allows an OC to 1.2GHz). It is absolutely night and day compared to stock Gingerbread. I haven't used it as my daily driver in quite some time but I still enjoy messing with ROMs on it.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, August 22, 2014 - link

    Saying that a KitKat Android build (OC'd at that) is much faster than a Gingerbread one is not anything new. What he said was very different.
    And I must concur. Having a Galaxy Nexus and a LG G2, no matter what ROM and Kernel I use (OC'd to 1.5GHz even), the LG G2 will be faster at everything I do on it, while rendering more pixels. Loading Chrome on the Galaxy Nexus takes a few seconds where it takes a fraction of a second on the G2. Same with any other app.
  • usernametaken76 - Friday, August 22, 2014 - link

    You obviously don't deal with business software.
  • MrCommunistGen - Thursday, August 21, 2014 - link

    Anything that helps bring more competition and therefore progress to the mobile industry is welcome news. I'd like to see *some* flagship Android device running Intel silicon.
  • LetsGo - Thursday, August 21, 2014 - link

    Intel should get a ARM licence.
    This kind of competition those not progress the mobile industry it seeks to divide it.
  • Stahn Aileron - Thursday, August 21, 2014 - link

    Intel did (does?) have an ARM license (Architecture). They sold off the subsidiary that used the license years ago though. If Wiki is to be trusted, Intel acquire the license via StrongARM from DEC, created XScale as a successor, then sold XScale to Marvell. Not sure if Intel still holds the ARM Architecture license (I would think so since Marvell has its own license for ARM.)
  • errorr - Friday, August 22, 2014 - link

    Not even all architecture licenses are the same depending on what parts and how you use the ISA

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