MIPS Works with Android 4.1, Focused on Low-Cost Tablets

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 18, 2012

Among chip makers that have worked steadily with the Android mobile OS, you don't hear MIPS Technologies mentioned much. But MIPS has, in fact, worked with Android since the birth of the OS, as we noted all the way back in 2009. When it comes to low cost Android tablet devices, you hear much discussion of devices running ARM chips, but MIPS has in fact been a competitive player in this space. Tablets based on MIPS chips and priced under $100 have made a mark around the world. Now there is news that MIPS will develop around Jelly Bean, otherwise known as Android 4.1.

Computerworld quotes Jen Bernier-Santarini, director of corporation communications at MIPS, who says:

"We are working aggressively on bringing Jelly Bean to MIPS, and expect that it will be available to our licensees very soon."

MIPS was actually very early to see Android as an operating system appropriate for many types of devices other than smartphones. Tthe company worked to develop extensions for Android to support HD video displays, and bring Android to Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and digital TVs.

But low cost Android tablets have been the best fit for MIPS chips, and have been successful in emerging markets. Last week, MIPS announced a new 7-inch Miumiu W1 tablet from a Chinese company called Ramos that will be sold in Latin America, India and Europe.  

Ramos' miumiu W1 tablet features, according to the announcement: "512MB DDR3 RAM, support for Wifi 802.11b/g/n, USB 2.0 high-speed 5-pin Micro USB interface, 4/8GB storage with support for up to 32GB external storage, microSD slot, support for 1080p HD video and most popular audio/video formats, 640x480 front camera, video recording with 640x480 resolution, support for USB keyboard/mouse and more."

In addition to support for Android 4.0, the miumiu W1 tablet incorporates an OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics processing unit, HDMI 1.3, and support for multi-format high-definition 1080p video encoding and decoding. In all likelihood, we'll see this MIPS-based tablet arrive running Android 4.1. Pricing isn't announced yet, but look for it to be very competitive.