MIPS preparing to take ARM on in the smartphone market

Looks like things are about to get interesting. ARM has owned the phone market for quite a few years now, with very little competition.

Sandeep Vij, CEO of MIPS Technologies, has said that penetration of the cellular market is his top priority, and there are two customers of MIPS that are working on chips for the cellular market.

In addition, MIPS has released a port of Android to their CPUs. Android is a good choice, as almost all Android apps are compiled to run on the Dalvik VM… recompile Dalvik for MIPS, and all of those apps will run, unmodified, with no emulation penalty (well, no additional penalty over the VM penalty.)

So, now we’ve got MIPS and Intel both aiming at smartphones, Renesas has a SuperH chip that has the processing power for a mid-range smartphone (although it has on-board RAM, and not much of it,) and the rumor mill is saying that Apple wants to buy ARM (although, admittedly, that one’s not likely.) Interesting times indeed, and this time around, we won’t have the pain of having to know what CPU’s in your phone to run an app, unless it’s Windows Phone (and Microsoft will likely require ARM for the foreseeable future, there,) iPhone OS (and Apple will stick with ARM, I suspect,) or Symbian.

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