MIPS moves closer to running Android on set-tops

MIPS Technologies has stepped up its plan to widen the market applications for Android platform beyond mobiles.

Following its port of the Android platform to the MIPS architecture, the microprocessor firm is making the source code publicly available.

MIPS is also making hardware and code optimisations available to certain customers.

“We are seeing an enormous amount of customer interest in Android on the MIPS architecture,” said Art Swift, v-p of marketing, MIPS Technologies.

“Android presents a compelling value proposition in bringing internet connectivity and a broad range of applications to MIPS-based digital home devices. We are working closely with customers and partners to ensure that critical technologies are available for developers to take advantage of Android for consumer electronics.”

MIPS is working with chip vendors and working groups of the Open Embedded Software Foundation (OESF), an organization focused on driving Android beyond mobile handsets, to define standardised Android-based platforms for consumer devices such as set-top boxes, digital TVs, mobile internet devices (MIDs), home media players and VoIP systems.

At a Japan forum – sponsored by the OESF – MIPS Technologies’ long-time partner D2 Technologies demonstrated its mCUE converged communications client for Android-based devices. The demonstration showed how embedded software products can enable VoIP, video chat and other IP communications in Android-based embedded equipment and consumer electronics devices.

MIPS ported Google’s Android operating system to the MIPS processor architecture, aiming to expand the use of Android beyond phones, into digital TVs, mobile internet devices, digital picture frames and set-top boxes.

Linux firm Embedded Alley – Android is built on the Linux kernel – is offering a version of the Android Dalvik virtual machine optimised for the MIPS instruction set; is extending the Android bionic library, linker and other software infrastructure for MIPS; and is providing integration and testing board support, device drivers, CODECs and other middleware.

Viosoft is also in, with its Arriba tools support single and multi-core MIPS.

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