NEW YORK – Every conceivable form of media tablet, e-reader and smartphone in the world is wending its way to Las Vegas to perform at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, and this pilgrimage includes MIPS Technologies. The processor IP core company will promote MIPS on Android while unveiling a host of MIPS-based mobile devices in its suite at the show. These mobile devices use systems-on-chips from MIPS licensees including Actions Semiconductor and Ingenic Semiconductor.
MIPS-based mobile devices scheduled to be shown include two smartphones (by two separate unnamed OEMs) and several media tablets. One of the smartphones uses a MIPS-Based Ingenic CPU as an applications processor, while the other uses a MIPS core from Actions Semiconductor for media processing, according to MIPS.
MIPS will also show off Cruz Tablets by Velocity Micro (Reston, Virginia). The Cruz Tablets running on the Android operating system have been on the market since late 2010, sold by Amazon, Borders, Best Buy, Walmart and others.
MIPS, in parallel, is announcing at CES a new licensee: Ingenic Semiconductor. Ingenic, a Beijing, China-based CPU provider founded in 2005, has now officially licensed the MIPS32 architecture for its mobile device SoCs.
Ingenic-designed MIPS-based SoCs are, for example, built into Velocity Micro’s Cruz Tablets.
The connection represented by MIPS-Ingenic-Velocity Micro illustrates an emerging paradigm in the consumer electronics market: A China-developed processor is driving a host of new consumer devices, while a big ODM community based in greater China (i.e. Foxconn) designs and manufactures them, which are, then, promoted by U.S.-based marketing companies like Velocity Micro, who cultivate channel connections with top retailers.
MIPS, fully aware of the new world order in the CE market, has been aggressively courting key players in China and taking advantage of this new convergence, with efforts to pick up more design wins in mobile devices.
MIPS’s entry in mobile market
Two design wins in smartphones are particularly significant for MIPS today, especially considering its failure to crack the mobile market, while allowing arch-rival ARM to sew up the mobile market over the past two decades.
Under new management, however, the mobile market has become MIPS’ top priority. By demonstrating two smartphones with MIPS-based processor IP cores in them, MIPS’ executives are eagerly re-iterating MIPS’ renewed efforts and commitment to go after new licensees in new markets. “We are delivering on our promise [to enter the mobile market],” said Art Swift, MIPS’ vice president of marketing and business development.
While MIPS will show off two MIPS-based smartphones, the company is not releasing the names of the OEMs. Swift noted that those units will go into production in the first week of January, and details will be unveiled before the Mobile World Congress in February.
"ARM architecture itself contains no lower. It is implementation that leads to lower power."
I don't think so. Most of the power savings comes architectural level and not implementation level.For eg, if you look at the AMBA bus spec you will see how on chip bus is optimized for low power using many techniques architecturally. The power savings at implementation level is low and as you said there is no reason why MIPS cant do it.
your observation regarding display pwer is right, but you see the display is not ON all the time. When you say a smart phone has a life of 2 days on one recharge, it mostly depends upon the CPU/components power. Or when you say your ipod can play audio for 40 hours, it is decided by the CPU/codecs. On top you might be aware of low pwr displays like PixelQi/Mirasol which consume only like very less power is available now.
That being said, I agree that the ARM Ecosystem is probably the most important challenge MIPS has to crack.
ARM has been claiming their processor as low power. But there is no power magic in their design. ARM architecture itself contains no lower. It is implementation that leads to lower power. So i don't see why MIPS could not do it. Plus, processor power is only small portion of power comparing with LCD display. It will not change story even rival processor has 10 to 20% high power. What is challenging to MIPS is to crack open Ecosystem ARM has been building for past two decades, especially in mobile industry. MIPS sees the chance in Android.
Competition will certainly be good to the market. ARM has been really strong in power saving. On the contrary, MIPS is famous in processing power. I am looking forward to learning what the market choose.
This time around, the competition is different from that of x86. Will either of these 2 processors become a replacement of x86 in the near future?
The Roadmap of MIPS processors is very well planned and it also supports open source os and tools, this helps a lot to adopt a processor for a mid range manufacturers, everyone knows that china has got a very waste community of mid range manufacturers and developers. In this environment MIPS will surely get its place. Then it might also get entered in the top class products.
Do you think the Tier 1 companies will sit idle, If they think it is worth a shot to try MIPS CPUs for the mobile market? Tells me something is not right that MIPS couldn't convince the top companies.
Another strong foot step by MIPS to come back into the market. ARM has been dominating MIPS for the last few years and MIPS has struggled to come back into the markt in the last one year. As we already know about the MIPS in google TV and now these new smart phone and tablet products with MIPS enabled processors will do wonders for the company. I feel MIPS started looking beyond the Tier1 processor companies like freescale, TI and are able to see the results.
Interesting to see some competition for ARM in mobile space. But if i am not wrong, their power consumption is higher than that of ARM which is why MIPS is not popular at the first place. So did they come up with a new low power version of the CPU or something which is comparable with ARM?
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