MIPS & Sigma Designs Collaborate on Andriod HD Technology

  • Posted on: 26 August 2009
  • By: chw staff

mips androidMIPS Technologies and Sigma Designs have announced their collaboration on bringing a full high-definition (HD) experience to the revolutionary Android platform. Both companies are leaders in their respective fields.  Sigma Designs is a leader in digital media processing system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for consumer electronics and MIPS Technologies is a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital consumer, home networking, wireless, communications and business applications.

At the DIGITIMES Tech Forum Multimedia Day in Taipei on August 27th, the companies will demonstrate an Android-based system displaying 1080p video on a full HD flat screen display. This HD video demonstration is a major milestone toward the creation of a reference platform for an Android-based set-top box (STB) -- a goal that Sigma and MIPS have been jointly working toward with other members of the STB working group of the Open Embedded Software Foundation (OESF). The goal of the OESF consortium is to drive Android into new consumer electronics segments beyond the mobile handset, where Android is already finding success.

According to Ken Lowe, vice president of strategic marketing, Sigma Designs "After showing a Blu-ray reference design for Android in June, we are pleased to now show full HD video on a MIPS-Based platform from Sigma -- a platform that was selected as an official Android reference port for the OESF STB working group," also "Support for Android is a priority on Sigma's roadmap as we enable our customers to quickly, easily and cost-effectively bring exciting new functionality to their next-generation of connected devices including DTVs, STBs and Blu-ray players."

"We are excited to join with Sigma to announce this latest Android on MIPS milestone and another industry-first," said Art Swift, vice president of marketing at MIPS Technologies. "Since we announced public availability of the Android on MIPS source code earlier this month, over 600 people have registered to access the code, and we actually had to add server and network capacity in order to meet demand! Together with our ecosystem partners, silicon partners and Early Access Customers, we are making incredible progress in driving Android into devices beyond the mobile handset."

To enable Android to run on an HD screen rather than the small screen of a mobile handset, Sigma and MIPS undertook enhancements to Android libraries and the MIPS architecture. Sigma Designs extended libraries within Android to support hardware graphics acceleration and hardware decoding to take advantage of their SoC capabilities for HD. MIPS Technologies is also making performance optimizations specifically for the MIPS32(r) architecture. This optimized code will be available in the future as part of the publicly-available Android on MIPS code.

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