When the “news” came out that Intel wouldn’t be supporting Linux on its new Atom CPU, Clover Trail, I didn’t buy it. This next-generation Intel Atom processor was always meant primarily for Windows 8, but with its Intel’s x86 instruction set it would also always support Android and Linux. We now know that Intel will officially support the popular open-source operating systems on the Clover Trial family as well.
In an e-mail from an Intel spokesperson, Intel said, “Intel has plans for another version of this platform directed at Linux/Android; however we are not commenting on the platform specifics or market segments that at this time. Stay tuned.”
Earlier this ear Intel had released a new low-power Atom processor, the Medfield, primarily for Android. These one-core chips are now being used in engineering samples running Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, and the just announced Motorola RAZRi.
The “problem” with Clover Trail for Android and Linux was that it had two cores. Intel has long been concerned with Android’s power and heating requirements for multi-core Atom CPUs for mobile platforms. There was never any difficulty with running Android or Linux on Clover Trail. The trouble was getting it to work efficiently with Clover Trail’s power management.