Android moves into home entertainment

MIPS Technologies made source code from its port of Android available Monday

MIPS Technologies on Monday made available Android software source code to anyone interested in creating Android applications for products that use the MIPS32 chip architecture.

MIPS processors are used in a variety of home entertainment and networking devices including Sony DVD players, Motorola set-top boxes and Linksys broadband devices.

The MIPS chips are based on a different instruction set to Intel's x86 chip architecture, which dominates the computer industry, and the RISC (reduced instruction set computer) processors by Arm Holdings that are used widely in mobile phones, so a version of Android needs to be developed for the chips.

On Monday MIPS began offering just that to software developers and initiated an early access program for customers, which will give them access to MIPS engineers and specific hardware and software optimizations.

MIPS made waves in June at the Computex electronics exhibition in Taipei by showing off a home media player and a 10.4-inch LCD display with a built-in computer both running Android. They were among the first non-phones to be seen running the Google-developed OS.

"We are seeing an enormous amount of customer interest in Android on the MIPS architecture," MIPS said in a statement. "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."

The company put information about Android on MIPS on an Android Web page and said interested developers could also email the company at android@mips.com.

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