Intel has revealed it is working on a tool that will help developers port applications built for the ARM architecture to x86-compatible code. A few years ago the move would have seemed paradoxical considering one of the inherent advantages to products built around Intel’s chip architecture over the years has been the huge developer support behind it. And while that remains true for desktop operating systems, it’s a different story when it comes to the mobile space.
Intel has been virtually absent from the fast growing smartphone market so far, but the company is hoping to change that with handset-centric processing chips -- like the upcoming 32nm Medfield which is posed to outclass ARM in power efficiency -- and its MeeGo operating system which is being co-developed with Nokia. Although neither will be available in smartphones or tablets until sometime next year, the chipmaker has been busy populating its AppUp store with over 1,000 MeeGo applications. The tool could help increase the number of applications available on Intel's store by identifying changes that need to be made in an iPhone app, for example, to run on Intel-based hardware.
Beyond smartphones and tablets there are some MeeGo devices that will reportedly make it to store shelves this year, including netbooks, Internet-connected TVs (IPTVs), and entertainment systems. Version 1.1 of MeeGo will be unveiled later this month, though Intel didn't say when its ARM-to-x86 tool would be released to developers.