Google’s Android software platform for mobile phones is coming to life in Barcelona, with a number of chip manufacturers showing it running on prototype or proof-of-concept phones at the Mobile World Congress today.
Freescale, Marvell, NEC Electronics, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments all had Android on show. Most of them expect to see Android phones based on their chips on the market in the second half of this year.
The device will also allow for the integration of different applications, a capability mostly limited to desktop computers. For example, a real-estate agent could combine information from its database with mapping software to let customers easily locate properties on the go, TI said.
The hardware ranged from bulky development boards with daughter cards sticking out at unlikely angles to more compact devices small enough to slip into your pocket. All were built around chips containing processor cores designed by Arm, a British fabless semiconductor company.
Google had said on Friday that while a number of companies would demonstrate Android products at the wireless trade show, the prototypes would give no real indication of the actual devices customers would ultimately be able to buy.