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Intel Rolls Out "Beacon Mountain" Android Dev Platform For Atom 126

MojoKid writes "In an effort to coax developers to begin taking Atom seriously as an Android platform, Intel has just released a complete suite of tools that should help ease them into things — especially since it can be used for ARM development as well. It's called Beacon Mountain, named after the highest peak outside of Beacon, New York. As you'd expect, Beacon Mountain supports Jelly Bean (4.2) development, and with this suite, you're provided with a collection of important Intel tools: Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager, Integrated Performance Primitives, Graphics and System Performance Analyzers, Threaded Building Blocks and Software Manager. In addition, Android SDK and NDK, Eclipse and Cygwin third-party tools are included to complete the package."
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Intel Rolls Out "Beacon Mountain" Android Dev Platform For Atom

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  • Yum..... (Score:5, Funny)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @01:21PM (#43763137)
    Oh, whoops I thought it said 'Bacon' mountain. Curse you Intel and your false meaty product names.
  • Charlie! Lets go to Candy Mountain, Charlie!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I sure would like to begin developing applications for a platform I don't have! Maybe if I create a program, a major company will create some hardware for it! (at a price I can afford, available on a network in my area)

  • Yea it supports ARM, how is that support and how will it work out for you? Will the support it equally? What is the licensing of this confabulation? Do I have to pay anything if I make a commercial product other than the atom processor, support chips and sundry support components?

    I've priced atom with all the needed support chips and compared to arm and it sucks balls on costs. I'm leery of hidden costs in this confabulation over the already sub par costs of atom.

  • Just curious, but the initials of Beacon Mountain are B.M. Do you think that's an indicator that Intel pretty committed to Windows still?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I always enjoy a hearty B.M. every morning and evening, it's a natural healthy process, nothing to be ashamed of.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, 2013 @02:09PM (#43763453)

    Increasingly, the best Android apps will use C++ and assembler, producing binaries that will NOT run only dodgy x86 versions of Android. There is already an issue of the best 'to-the-metal' apps on Android only running on certain ARM tablets, although this is usually down to laziness or excessive caution by the programmers. ARM provides excellent ways to ensure ARM binaries have sufficient support for the minor variations found amongst the most commonly used ARM CPU cores, the main variation being in the area of vector acceleration facilities for floating point code.

    The world doesn't need x86 Android. The world doesn't want x86 Android. The world is only subject to x86 Android because Intel (illegally) PAYS third parties to build x86 Android devices. There is no sane commercial reason for any company to use an Intel chip UNLESS Intel turns up with wheel-barrows full of cash and shed loads of free low end x86 parts. Luckily, getting the devices built doesn't help Intel subvert the marketplace, since no-one chooses to buy them. Buying an Intel Android tablet would be like buying a non-cortex ARM based tablet. Sure, they'll both run 'Angry Birds', and other primitive Java only apps. However, no aware person would choose a non-cortex ARM or x86 CPU unless they wanted to be constantly checking the compatibility of Android software (and at least Android ARM binaries CAN be made compatible with non-cortex ARM v7).

    We've seen this before, in the early days of Microsoft NT (now, what you call 'Windows'). Microsoft backed 3 or 4 different CPUs, and provided tools for each. In theory, an app could carry binary pay-loads for each type of CPU in the same package. In practice this NEVER happened. Either an app was a general program for a common x86 based PC, or an app was a highly specialised program for a MIPS machine or whatever. Of course, back then the (supposedly) CPU ISA independent .NET initiative did not exist.

    Or again, consider the nintendo Wii U. This console was designed for brainless and cheap ports from the Xbox360. The Wii U has CPU and GPU features that can be considered as supersets of the Xbox360, but in reality things are more complex. The Wii U may have more power than the Xbox360, and 'compatible' hardware (same CPU ISA, GPU form same company), but now almost no Xbox360 developer is creating versions of their games for the Wii U. Intel's argument for Android on x86 is like Nintendo's argument for the Wii U- namely that developers from successful platforms will obviously want to port their apps/games across if the process is 'easy' enough.

    In the world of software development 'easy enough' is a buzz phrase designed to fool the 'pointy-haired bosses', and it doesn't even do this. The very reason, for instance, that EA no longer codes ANY games for the Wii U is the self-same reason vanishing few good apps will appear for the x86 version of Android. Testing, supporting, and porting just won't be worth the effort. Developers who support Intel KNOW they are uselessly helping to fragment the Android market, AND support a CPU manufacturer that, if successful, will massively raise the cost of x86 Android CPU parts. Intel's mad dream is to drive ARM out of the mobile market, and then to raise the price of their mobile x86 parts back to notebook levels.

    • You realize you can compile the same source to get ARM or x86 binaries, with or without NEON/SSE/AVX ?

  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Saturday May 18, 2013 @05:14PM (#43764555) Journal

    On my supposedly "archaic" x86 desktop, I download any Linux distro I feel like using and can use the exact same installer to setup a 5 year old desktop or next month's Haswell.

    On my "futuristic" smartphone I have to wade through outdated information on sketchy forums to find the exact set of model-specific voodoo in order to unlock the device. Oh.. and I'm aware that not every ARM device comes locked, I was in the first-wave of Raspberry Pi purchasers. But guess what? Even with my Raspberry Pi I have to hunt down images that are tailor made just to booth with the Pi and stepping off the Raspberry Pi software reservation gets real ugly real fast.

    Why is the thought of an unlocked x86 tablet that could host the exact same Linux distro that I feel comfortable with on various other computers be considered some type of evil? Why is the idea of having the ability to install a stock Android with no garbage without having to sift throught 2,000 forum posts dedicated to a specific flavor of smartphone for a specific vendor considered "anti-freedom"?

    • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @12:17AM (#43766165)

      On my supposedly "archaic" x86 desktop, I download any Linux distro I feel like using and can use the exact same installer to setup a 5 year old desktop or next month's Haswell.

      This has nothing to do with it being Intel vs ARM, it is that the complete definition of a PC compatible platform is standardized. Intel Atom based tablets may not necessarily follow that platform standard.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      On my supposedly "archaic" x86 desktop, I download any Linux distro I feel like using and can use the exact same installer to setup a 5 year old desktop or next month's Haswell.

      I bet it wouldn't work on a NEC PC-Engine. Or an original Xbox.

      You see, the thing is your PC is just ONE platform. Everything about the PC has been the same standard dating all the way back to the original IBM PC. RAM is always in the same location on every PC, and even today we still have the stupid 640ki-1M memory hole (for display

  • But now I am disappointed in the lack of salted porky goodness.

  • Despite the fact that Intel has only about 3 phone models released, all on the same platform (a second one is coming), they fail to provide updates to Android 4.2 for all of them.

    So this is just another shot in the foot for them. Android is a great ecosystem, but it is not for the faint of heart. If you want to compete, you have to do it properly. Half-hearted attempts will like (just like HTC).

  • In an effort to coax developers to begin taking Atom seriously as an Android platform

    I think that part was a joke, because TFA states it's windows only.

    The [very few] windows devs I know, use MS tools like C#, etc. Are there actually any android devs that run windows out there?

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