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August 03, 2009

MIPS Technologies' Android Helps Developers Create Consumer Electronics

By Nathesh, TMCnet Contributor

MIPS Technologies (News - Alert) has met a key milestone in driving the Android platform beyond mobile handsets into digital homes and will help ensure critical technologies are available to developers to make full use of Android (News - Alert) platform for developing consumer electronics.

With Android and the dynamic open source development community around it, company officials claim that developers can easily and quickly create new applications and OEMs can leverage a fast-growing set of applications for their devices.
MIPS Technologies is a provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores that power to some of the world’s most popular products for the home entertainment, communications, networking and portable multimedia markets.
MIPS makes CPU architectures and licenses it to different silicon vendors and by announcing its port of the Android platform to the MIPS architecture the company is said to have taken Android into verticals outside of mobile. Now MIPS is making its source code publicly available and also starting a so-called early access program for a small group of key customers who will have access to specific hardware and code optimizations before they are publicly available.
The organization is seeing a “huge” customer interest in Android on its architecture, according to company executives. Android reportedly presents a value proposition in bringing Internet connectivity and a broad range of applications to MIPS-based digital home devices and the company is working closely with customers and partners to bring the Android platform to the digital home products.
Company officials at MIPS Technologies has stated that it is working to define standardized Android-based platforms for consumer devices such as set-top boxes, digital TVs, mobile Internet devices, home media players and VoIP systems. The company has already run Android on a home media player and on a DTV reference design.
In this recession, battered economy it is expected that designers will turn to open source code whenever they can. But available platforms like Linux lacked a user-friendly interface and a high profile effort attracting mainstream application developers. But Android on the other hand has no such shortcomings and has itself an increasing list of chipsets supporting Android platform. MIPS is also working along with its partners to demonstrate more Android solutions other than mobile handsets in the coming months.
MIPS recently had announced Navigator Integrated Component Suite and unveiled two new HDMI IP Cores.

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Nathesh is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Nathesh's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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