MIPS Technologies Inc. is having a good run at the ongoing Computex 2011. First, with Taiwan's Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. (SiS), it announced the latest milestone in driving the Android platform into the digital home. It launched the MIPS Application Development (MAD) Program designed to promote rapid development of applications on the MIPS architecture.
MIPS, along with Ingenic Semiconductor, a leading China-based CPU provider for mobile multimedia applications, have brought the Android 3.0, also known as 'Honeycomb', to Ingenic's new JZ4770 mobile applications processor, which leverages a MIPS-Based XBurst CPU running at 1GHz.
Honeycomb is the newest version of the Android operating system designed specifically for tablets and other large format products. MIPS and Ingenic will work together on porting Honeycomb to the Ingenic chip for tablets. MIPS and Actions Semiconductor Co. Ltd, one of China's leading fabless semiconductor companies that provides solutions for portable consumer electronics, are collaborating to bring Android 3.0, also known as "Honeycomb," to a new 1.3GHz MIPS-Based chipset from Actions.
So, how is MIPS aligning with SiS to drive the Android into the home? Jennifer Bernier-Santarini, senior PR manager for MIPS, said that SiS is a long-time MIPS licensee, and like many of the licensees, is innovating with Android on the MIPS architecture for the digital home and for mobile/portable products. Over the years, as MIPS has introduced new high performance cores, SiS has progressively and quickly licensed these cores for its products. Its newest chip for Internet TV leverages dual-core MIPS processors along with the latest technologies including support for high-end graphics and enhanced video processing, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, video on demand recording, plus interoperability with mobile devices.
Santarini added: "SiS recently licensed our 1074K core, which combines a superscalar architecture with coherent multiprocessing, for its next generation product. SiS works with other leading IP companies including MIPS’ partner Imagination Technologies to build the most advanced technologies into its products. Earlier this year, SiS announced support for MIPS’ new Android based SmartCE platform for connected entertainment on DTVs, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and other home products. We are continuing to work with SiS through our Android on MIPS community on further development and optimizations around its Android on MIPS products."
MIPS has also launched the MAD Program designed to promote rapid development of applications on the MIPS architecture.
Santarini added: "The MIPS Application Development (MAD) Program is the latest offering from MIPS designed to promote rapid development of applications on the MIPS architecture. Initially, we will focus on Android applications for MIPS-Based mobile devices. We are providing performance and compatibility testing so that applications developers can ensure that their applications run smoothly on the MIPS architecture and provide an ideal user experience. Through the program, we’re also offering technical support and a MAD Kit of tools for MIPS application development.
"Ultimately, applications developers will want to ensure that their apps run across all of the major architectures, so we are making it easy for them to do this. We will soon be announcing some other initiatives to further build the applications ecosystem for Android on MIPS-Based mobile devices with a focus on the China market, where there is not currently an official Android market. Stay tuned for that news."
Apparently, there have been deals to bring Android 'Honeycomb' to new 1.3GHz chipset for tablets. Santarini said: "MIPS recently announced that we are porting the latest version of Android to the MIPS architecture through official source access. Honeycomb is now up and running and we are working on optimizations. We are also working with our customers Actions Semiconductor and Ingenic Semiconductor to bring Honeycomb to their new MIPS-Based chipsets for tablets.
"Both SoCs are running at over 1GHz, making them the first MIPS-Based chips for mobile devices to reach that performance level. We would expect to see an optimized version of Honeycomb running on these Ingenic and Actions platforms before the end of the year."
That leads to the question: what is every company on earth trying to gain by having 'everyone on the Internet all the time'?
Santarini noted: "The Internet has changed the way that people consume and publish information. There were historically official channels, such as newspapers, magazines, the music industry etc., needed for the publication of information and content. Now, consumers can directly publish information of various types through numerous sources. Even CNN relies heavily on its viewers for information, including eyewitness reports and video clips.
"Today, consumers expect access to information anytime, anywhere. They want to be able to check the weather, sports game scores, traffic reports, email messages and other information in real time. At MIPS Technologies, we see an opportunity to make this experience as seamless as possible. We provide technologies that are key to enabling a great experience for consumers as they access and publish information at any time, in any location, on any screen."