INTERNATIONAL CES, LAS VEGAS, Nev. — January 18, 2010 — MIPS Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: MIPS) today announced a compelling lineup of demonstrations, partnerships and technologies aimed at making AndroidTM a viable platform for digital home devices such as set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc players, DTVs and VoIP solutions. During International CES this week, MIPS and complementary solution providers will demonstrate the world's first AndroidTM-based set-top boxes (STBs), Android running on a MIPS-BasedTM netbook, the world's first social media center for Android-based embedded platforms, and other key technologies.
"MIPS is the number one architecture for the digital home, and our optimizations of the Android platform are critical for enabling our customers to deliver the next generation of products for the connected digital home and beyond," said Art Swift, vice president of marketing for MIPS Technologies. "Together with our partners, we've made great progress in optimizing Android for a broad range of consumer devices. We've delivered a full HD experience to Android, and now we're delivering multi-channel audio and enhanced user interfaces required for digital home devices. We anticipate seeing the first Android-based devices in our living rooms in 2010."
World's First Android-Based Set-top Boxes; MIPS-Based Android Netbook and the World's First Android Social Media Center
During CES, Western Mediabridge Inc., a Celrun Company and premier provider of complete and fully-integrated DTV broadcast end-to-end system solutions, and Sigma Designs, a provider of digital media processing SoC solutions for consumer electronics, will demonstrate the world's first commercially available Android set-top box. The MIPS-Based STB features video-on-demand, ThinkFree Office (Word, Spreadsheet, Presentation) viewer software, web browser, remote control/keyboard interface and 1080p video quality. It was announced separately by Sigma Designs and Western Mediabridge today.
"With Sigma Designs' and MIPS Technologies' industry-leading performance and Android's open and flexible platform, our Android-based STB is one of the most innovative STB solutions in the market. We anticipate there will be a lot of Android-based products and applications in the near future which will be connected to each other. Our belief is that the Android set-top box will be positioned as a main device among in-home Android-based multimedia devices. We will continue to add more applications, making a more feature-rich Android set-top box," said Ernest Bang, president and CEO of Western Mediabridge Inc.
MIPS will also demonstrate a prototype of an Android-based IPTV set-top box developed by KDDI R&D Labs. Inc., a subsidiary company of Japanese telecommunications carrier KDDI. The set-top box supports IPTV set-top box functionality such as multicasting, video-on-demand (VOD), remote control user interface, and digital rights management (DRM) requirements. The prototype is based on the highly-integrated MIPS-Based SMP8654 media processors from Sigma Designs. Dr. Hiroki Horiuchi, executive director, KDDI R&D Labs. Inc., said, "Android has the potential to be very successful in providing the next-generation internet-connected digital home platform."
MIPS will also demonstrate the Lemote YeeLoong8089 netbook computer running Android, with browser capability and other applications. According to Lemote, the YeeLoong8089, powered by a MIPS-Based Loongson processor, is the world's first laptop that contains completely free software.
In addition, MIPS will demonstrate ConnecTV, a new licensable software solution from Home Jinni Inc., billed as the world's first social media center for Android-based embedded platforms. Home Jinni offers residential automation solutions for end-user programming and control of the digital home, including an Android application framework for building UPnP, DLNA and DPWS home area network applications, and an Android framework for integrating the home with IMS and service provider networks. ConnecTV enables consumers to search, discover, categorize and enjoy online media content directly from a TV, and to communicate and share with friends from the comfort of their living room. It also enables control and distribution of media content throughout the home. ConnecTV will be demonstrated on a MIPS-Based platform from Sigma Designs.
According to Home Jinni's CEO Shidan Gouran, "By embracing Android, MIPS Technologies has sparked a software revolution in consumer electronics which will lead to unprecedented time and cost savings in the product development life cycle. We are a testament to this. What we are showcasing with MIPS at CES is more than the new home entertainment hub; at its core, ConnecTV is a flexible and open application framework that completes Android as the operating system most suitable for the home."
Bringing Android 'Home' with Key Technology Milestones and Software Optimizations
Since Android was originally targeted for mobile handsets, much of the functionality must be extended to handle different feature sets and usage models of other consumer devices. For example, in a set-top box, Android must be enhanced to enable playing of content-protected HD video and multi-channel audio on a large, high resolution flat panel display. Enhancements are also needed to take advantage of hardware accelerators typically found in SoCs for these devices.
MIPS and silicon partner Sigma Designs already addressed the HD video challenge, demonstrating an Android-based system displaying 1080p video on a full HD flat screen display. Now, MIPS partner AllGo Systems has added multi-channel audio support into Android-another major milestone in bringing Android into the digital home. AllGo's audio software enables hardware acceleration specifically targeted for Tensilica's HiFi 2 Audio DSP within an 'Android on MIPS' platform.
"As a partner of MIPS in its Android platform initiatives, AllGo is excited to demonstrate our 'Android on MIPS' based solutions at CES", said K Srinivasan, CEO of AllGo Systems. "We are showing two demonstrations: a multi-channel audio playback implementation on a MIPS32 processor integrated with Tensilica's HiFi 2 Audio DSP, and a UPnP/DLNA based high-definition video streaming solution on a MIPS-Based Sigma Designs Vantage 8654 platform running Android. Our multimedia solutions and system integration capabilities can accelerate customers' development of next generation media devices based on an 'Android on MIPS' platform."
Customized User Interfaces
Another key element in making Android viable for the digital home is the ability to customize user interfaces for the home user experience, which leverages a large screen and remote control. 'Android on MIPS' ecosystem partner KatDC, a company offering embedded Linux and Android-based UI and application solutions for portable and digital home products, will demonstrate the second generation of its solutions for TV menus, browser, photo application, DLNA, music, video and weather-running on a MIPS-Based platform from Sigma Designs.
"We are pleased to see that our relationship with MIPS is helping to drive Android into the digital home market," said Kyo Li, co-founder and chief architect, KatDC. "KatDC's Katdroid is a unique solution for Android-based products. Katdroid not only enhances Android's GUI presentation, but also brings to the digital living room exciting new features such as DLNA, remote control, multimedia player, Twitter and more. We look forward to seeing more customers take advantage of Katdroid and MIPS to enrich their digital home products."
"Sigma and MIPS continue to make great strides in bringing Android platforms to the connected digital home," said Ken Lowe, vice president of strategic marketing, Sigma Designs. "In the beginning, we were focused on addressing the HD video challenge. At this year's CES, we will be taking a giant step forward with the demonstration of the world's first commercially available Android-based set top box in our suite. Through our joint efforts, we hope this to be a watershed moment for the industry."
In its suite at CES, Sigma will also provide demonstrations of MIPS-Based platforms including 3D graphics, 3D video, a cable hybrid DOCSIS gateway, a low cost media player platform, premium Blu-ray players, PC connectivity products, and Android on a high-definition panel.
Beyond Android: Other Connected Digital Home Demonstrations at International CES
Beyond its work with Android, MIPS is optimizing other key platforms and IP for the richest possible user experience on any screen. With its broad range of IP cores and its leadership in multimedia and connectivity markets, MIPS is delivering a truly connected user experience.
According to Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research, "The winning embedded processor architecture for the next generation of connected products will be the one that best enables a rich user experience. Key to this experience will be an interactive user experience to access content, efficient processing of high-quality audio and video content, and moving that content quickly and efficiently between consumer devices."