In an unusual move, Google may eschew ARM for a 64-bit Intel Moorefield SoC in the long-rumored Nexus 8. That’s according to a report from AndroidPit, which points out that the device’s alleged release month – July – would both conveniently coincide with Intel’s chip shipment schedule, and come after the potential introduction of a 64-bit compatible version of Android.
Moorefield is no slouch. Unveiled at MWC 2014 last month, the Atom processor has four cores clocked up to 2.3GHz, supports LTE-Advanced wireless, and features “an enhanced GPU and support for faster memory.” Speaking of the GPU, Moorefield may come paired with a PowerVR G6430, which some reports suggest is up to 20 times faster and five times more efficient than its Series 5 predecessor.
Of course, x86-based processors have their drawbacks, software incompatibility foremost. Intel last claimed that its processors could run 95% of Android apps, but applications like 3D games have been historically problematic. The debut of a Nexus tablet with Intel hardware could very well spur developers to release compatible versions of their apps, though.
We should learn more at Google I/O 2014, which is scheduled to take place in June.