When you think of processors that power our Android smartphone, which architecture comes to your mind? ARM? Intel? Or, maybe MIPS? Anyways, our sources speak that MIPS is committed to porting Android 4.1 Jellybean to its lineup of cheap Android tablets. That was confirmed by Jen Bernier – Santarini, whose statement appeared in an email. Here’s a part of it:
“We are working aggressively on bringing Jelly Bean to MIPS, and expect that it will be available to our licensees very soon”
MIPS is a somewhat infamous company that struggles to compete ARM and Intel in the smartphone game, aimed on providing low-cost tablets in the emerging markets, powered by their own processors based on the MIPS architecture. But, there’s a problem. The makers adopting their architecture are rare, almost non-existent and Google will likely beat them in their own game with the launch of the Nexus 7, a low-cost tablet featuring Android 4.1 and a quad-core CPU based on ARM for the price of just $199. Apart from that, many users will find MIPS powered tablets incompatible with the latest games on the Google Play Store, due to the software developers who would just stick to the ARM architecture, which is by far the most popular of them all in the smartphone world. Although it has gained a big success in the China markets, adoption in the other countries will likely be a tough challenge.
Will MIPS stay at the bottom of the food chain, or will it become a worthy competitor of ARM? Will the Google’s Revision 8 of the native development kit (NDK) for Android make a difference for the developers? Will it attract more manufactures? Only time will tell, and by that time, we can only guess.