Feeds

MIPS enters Android Honeycomb tablet race

ARM and Intel face potent Chinese competitor

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Amid all the brouhaha about the low power–chip tussle between Intel and ARM, another processor architecture has been quietly advancing into the same tablet and smartphone battleground: MIPS Technologies, which has announced a partnership with Beijing's Ingenic Semiconductor to port Android 3.0, aka Honeycomb, to the Chinese chipmaker's upcoming ultra–low power system-on-chip.

"With its new chip, Ingenic is bringing a new level of MIPS applications processing to the mobile market," MIPS marketing and biz-dev vice president Art Swift said in the companies' announcement on Tuesday.

The SoC in question, Ingenic's 1GHz JZ4770, includes the company's XBurst CPU core, an 1080p video processing unit and OpenGL ES 2.0 3D-capable GPU, plus Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, TV, USB, camera, GPS, and other connectivity options.

The JZ4770 requires only about 250 milliwatts of power when running at at 1GHz, with the XBurst core and its L1 cache consuming around 100 of those milliwatts. The 65nm chip is sceduled to be released in the third quarter of this year.

MIPS and Ingenic announced that the Chinese chipmaker had licensed the MIPS32 architecture this January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. At that time, they said that MIPS-based Ingenic chips would be "targeting a broad range of mobile products including e-readers, tablets and smartphones leveraging the Android platform."

MIPS work on Honeycomb is not the first MIPS Android port. Over two years ago, Embedded Alley announced that it was preparing an Android port for MIPS-based processors, targeting a veritable laundry list of applications: "personal multimedia and Mobile Internet Devices digital video and home entertainment (STB/DTV/HDTV), automotive (GPS and infotainment), medical devices, home automation, SOHO networking, instrumentation and industrial control."

Last January, MIPS partnered with DTV-builder Western Mediabridge and SoC-maker Sigma Designs to create set-top boxes based on the Android port it had open sourced the previous August.

Android 3.0 is not yet open source. Google has said that the Honeycomb code will not be open sourced before the end of the year. But the company is sharing the Honeycomb source code with certain partners. Tuesday's announcement that MIPS and Ingneic would partner to port the tablet-specific Android 3.0 to the JZ4770 adds a third SoC competitor in the tablet market in addition to ARM and Intel.

In January, Ingenic said that its chips were powering "over 25 million products" in the Chinese market. In the companies' announcement on Tuesday, Ingenic chairman and CEO Qiang Liu said that he was expanding his target to "the China market and beyond." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.