MIPS Tablet

Cheap Android tablets are nothing new, but Sunyvale, Calif., company MIPS Technologies looks to be one of the first out of the gate with a cheap Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. The first version is launching as a 7-incher -- 8- and 9-inch tablets are on the way. It's running a 1GHz MIPS-Based XBurst CPU with a Vivante GC860 GPU has the usual Wifi, Bluetooth, HDMI and microSD features.

We've generally been less than impressed by most every cheap Android tablet we've seen. You usually do get what you pay for when it comes to this sort of thing. But MIPS' press release also includes a quote from Android's Andy Rubin, who said:

“I’m thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market. Low cost, high performance tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android’s openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world.” 

It's being touted as retailing for less than $100. In fact, it's $99. And we just paid $66 in shipping. We'll just have to see when we get our hands on the MIPS whether it's worth even that much. Full presser's after the break. 

MIPS Technologies and Ingenic Semiconductor Announce 
Availability of World’s First Android™ ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ Tablet

1GHz, Low-Power Tablet Sets New Market Standard at Sub-$100 Price Point

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – December 5, 2011  MIPS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIPS), a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital home, networking and mobile applications, and Ingenic Semiconductor, a leading China-based CPU provider for mobile multimedia applications, today announced worldwide availability of the world’s first tablet based on Android ™ 4.0, known as ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, that is retailing for less than $100 (U.S). The tablet is powered by Ingenic’s JZ4770 mobile applications processor, which leverages a MIPS-Based™ XBurst™ CPU running at 1GHz.

According to Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at Google, “I’m thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market. Low cost, high performance tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android’s openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world.”

The new Android 4.0 tablet is available in China and online through Ainol Electronics Co., Ltd. It will be available in the United States and other geographies within the next several months under brands from companies including Leader International Inc. and OMG Electronics Ltd.

The new tablet is available with a 7” capacitive multi-touch screen. 8” and 9” form factors will be available soon. All versions include support for WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3 and microSD, as well as 3D graphics with the Vivante GC860 GPU, 1080p video decoding and dual front/rear cameras. The XBurst processor’s power-efficient architecture provides extended battery life—the 7” tablet draws less than 400mA during active web browsing.

“We are pleased to join with MIPS to announce these breakthrough high-performance, low-power, low-cost Android 4.0 tablets. Combining the elegance of the MIPS architecture and Ingenic’s innovation in processor design, we are bringing a new level of processor technology to mobile devices. As we continue to collaborate with MIPS to broaden the mobile ecosystem around the legendary MIPS architecture, we anticipate even broader proliferation of our devices worldwide. We believe the mobile world will be more versatile and colorful with another processor joining in,” said Qiang Liu, chairman and CEO, Ingenic Semiconductor.

“The openness of Android is enabling a new level of connectedness and interaction between devices and between people across the globe. We are excited to be a part of the Android ecosystem delivering on that vision. We applaud Ingenic’s accomplishment in developing this new high-performance, feature-rich Android 4.0 tablet, and offering it at a price point that makes it widely accessible. We look forward to teaming with Ingenic as it continues to develop MIPS-Based mobile innovations,” said Sandeep Vij, president and CEO, MIPS Technologies.

Ingenic JZ4770 SoC

The Ingenic JZ4770 SoC inside of the new tablet is one of the first MIPS-Based systems-on-chips (SoCs) targeted for mobile devices that delivers 1GHz+ frequency, increasingly a requirement for tablets and other devices that incorporate rich multimedia and high-performance applications/functionality. The JZ4770 SoC is powered by a MIPS32 compatible XBurst CPU designed by Ingenic. The XBurst CPU core adopts an innovative ultra-low-power pipelining architecture which consumes less than 90mW in 1GHz (with L1 cache), and the entire SOC consumes ~250mW with the CPU and video engine operating under full load. In addition to the XBurst CPU, the JZ4770 SoC integrates an optimized 1080p video processing engine, OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics processing unit from Vivante Corp. and numerous on-chip analog and application blocks such as audio codecs and GPS.

Pricing and Availability

Ingenic’s JZ4770 SoC for Android 4.0 tablets is available now. The new Android 4.0 tablet is available in China and online through Ainol Electronics Co., Ltd. at www.ainovo.com. The 7” tablet retails for less than $100 (U.S.) non-subsidized. The tablet will be available in other geographies within the next several months. For more information, visit http://en.ingenic.cn/.

About Ingenic

Ingenic Semiconductor was founded in Beijing in 2005 to develop innovative processor technology. Based on the MIPS architecture, Ingenic designs its own CPU core called XBurst. The XBurst CPU adopts an innovative micro-architecture which consumes very little power under high performance. Powered by the XBurst CPU, the company’s JZ47xx series application processors are widely deployed in embedded devices and consumer electronic products including PMPs, educational electronic devices, eBooks, biometrics and more, with more than 30 million units shipped to-date. For more information, visit http://www.ingenic.cn/.

About MIPS Technologies, Inc.

MIPS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIPS) is a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital home, networking and mobile applications. The MIPS architecture powers some of the world's most popular products, including broadband devices from Linksys, DTVs and digital consumer devices from Sony, DVD recordable devices from Pioneer, digital set-top boxes from Motorola, network routers from Cisco, 32-bit microcontrollers from Microchip Technology and laser printers from Hewlett-Packard. Founded in 1998, MIPS Technologies is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, with offices worldwide. For more information, contact (408) 530-5000 or visit www.mips.com.

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