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MIPS open sources living room Android port

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Google's mobile OS is poised for life beyond the mobile - and the netbook.

Two months after porting Google Android to its MIPS microprocessor architecture - widely used in set-top boxes, HDTVs, and other embedded devices - MIPS Technologies has open sourced the port, hoping to create a kind of Android standard for consumer electronics devices.

"Android presents a compelling value proposition in bringing Internet connectivity and a broad range of applications to MIPS-based digital home devices," MIPS Technologies' vp of marketing Art Swift said in a canned statement. "We are working closely with customers and partners to ensure that critical technologies are available for developers to take advantage of Android for consumer electronics."

Google originally designed the Linux-based Android as a mobile stack, coding the platform for an ARM-based chipset from Qualcomm. The first Googlephone - the T-Mobile G1 - is a Qualcomm device. But since Google open sourced the OS in September, countless outfits have moved the OS onto ARM-equipped netbooks. And Acer has shown off an Intel Atom-based netbook.

Of course, both ARM and Atom double as embedded processors, and the MIPS world has followed them onto Android. Embedded Alley - now owned by Mentor Graphics - offers its own Android MIPS port, and you can visit MIPS Technologies' newly open-sourced port here.

Working in tandem with various partners - including Mentor Graphics and the Open Embedded Software Foundation (OESF) - MIPS intends to create standardized Android platforms for various consumer electronics devices, including set-top boxes, digital TVs, mobile internet devices (MIDs), home media players, and VoIP systems.

Together with its partners, MIPS has already demoed Android on a home media player and a digital TV. ®

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