BARCELONA--MIPS Technologies, which licenses MIPS processor IP cores that power appliances like TVs and DTV boxes has come out with its own $99 tablet running Google’s Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
China-based Ingenic Semiconductor licensed MIPS architecture and developed the mobile application processor that powers the 7-inch tablet made by Ainovo.
The Ainovo's tablet sports Ingenic's 1GHz single core processor and 444MHz Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). The JZ4770 processor, based on XBurst technology, is MIPS32, 65 nanometer architecture and is capable of both 2D and 3D video in 1080p, with a power consumption of less than 250mW.
The tablet boasts both front and rear cameras and also includes support for WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3 and microSD.
Even better is another tablet on the MIPS booth being subsidized and sold into the Indonesian market. That particular model costs just $33 and comes with six months of included pre-paid wifi on a one year contract.
Ever application processor SOC vendor has to create its own reference design. In this case, MIPS probably provide significant assistance to Ingenic for the making of a tablet reference design. Once this work is done, ODMs can then make their own business decision to copy and modify for further differentiation. This is the business flow.
Very impressive. MIPS is not late into the market if they are selling 7" Android 4.0 tablet in the US for $99, considering that other competitors (such as Acer and Samsung) are selling in the $200s. There is plenty of room for growth in the low-end market if the price is right for the mass market.
A valiant effort indeed but is it a bit too late for MIPS to try and get into an overcrowded space dominated by 4rth/5th generation ARM SoCs. And don't forget Intel.
I wonder why MIPS had to design their own tablet - could they not convice the existing tablet makers to use MIPS? The price is definitely compelling but it also means low margins for MIPS.
Wow, that seems to be a lot for the money! Especially considering there is no "plan" to sign up for that offsets the cost. It is exciting to see the costs coming down and the performance going up. I can't wait to try one...
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