MANHASSET, N.Y. MIPS Technologies Inc. is going after the cellphone market.
ARM currently dominates -- hands down -- the global cellphone market, and many industry observers scoff at MIPS as a viable competitor for future mobile phone designs. But MIPS insists that they're all wrong.
Art Swift, vice president of marketing at MIPS, told EE Times that MIPS-based handsets will be shipped over the next several years. He noted that MIPS now sees its licensees making actual progress.
The company's strategy of riding the Android wave is well known. Google initially created Android as open source software platform for smart phones using ARM processors. But MIPS also saw an opening since OEMs already using MIPS cores are interested in adopting the code for a broad range of systems, including netbooks, e-books, digital picture frames and medical devices.
Swift isn't just talking about Android-based digital photo frames, personal media players, personal navigation devices, Blu-ray players, netbooks or Mobile Internet Devices (MID) -- where MIPS cores are already used or are more likely to reside.
He is also talking about MIPS design wins in cell phones. That's news to many in the industry.
Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts, said, "The only low-power MIPS implementation of which I am aware is the RMI version of the AMD Alchemy low-power MIPS architecture that was sold to then-Raza in 2006."
Strauss said "RMI processors are in Samsung digital picture frames, products which certainly could lend themselves to Android implementations, and I've seen Android prototypes of picture frames by another company." Android could be useful in personal media players (PMP), he pointed out, noting that many Korean PMP makers are actually working on them, using RMI's MIPS-based processor.
Still. Strauss said he has yet to see a MIPS core in a mobile handset.