There’s a new twist in the battle for the tablet and smart phone chip market: Intel has apparently decided that Linux isn’t an important ally. This Techworld.com article reported on the Intel Developer Forum, at which the chipmaker flatly said that its new Clover Tail Atom Chip won’t run Linux.
The problem lies in the additional power interfaces on the chips that aren’t compatible with Linux, according to the article, which quotes Intel as saying that “there’s a lot of software work that has to go into a chip to support it in an operating system.” It also included input from open-source analyst Bruce Perens, who predicted, in response, that later versions of the chip would probably support Linux. In any case, though, he wrote on his blog that Clover Tail was a “dead end”:
“Clover Trail, built with partner Microsoft, might be Intel’s biggest loser since Itanium, built with partner HP,” he wrote.
The reason is simply that the competing (and lower power) ARM chips are the better fit for the purpose they are designed for: running smartphones and tablets, he wrote, so Linux enthusiasts probably won’t be too upset with Intel over this particular issue.