China develops MIPS processor for smartphones

Uses only 240mW with integrated graphics

Chinese MIPS developer Ingenic has just completed a 65nm MIPS24 compatible chip complete with integrated graphics and I/O on the chip.  The interesting oar is that, according to CEO and Chairman Qiang Liu, the processor only takes up 25% of the real estate that a processor from ARM would require.

The processor core carrying the name XBurst, was developed in-house by Ingenic, who has also developed the video part. The 3D video engine has been acquired from Vivante. Vivante is an American/Chinese company that specializes in graphics engines for MIPS cores.

According to Qiang Liu the chip can be divided into three parts that have roughly the same size and power consumption. They are: processor core, graphics decoder and finally I/O. Each part consumes about 80mW and is able of running at 1GHz.  Their stated fabbing partner is TSMC. The target market, obviously, for the latest processor is smartphones, tablets and Internet TV. Previous cores have been successfully used in tablets and e-book readers.

Ingenic is a fairly young company that was founded in 2005. It originally designed products using 180nm process technology for simple cost reasons. According to Qiang Liu the starting capital was only about $2M.  Qiang Liu showed off the first MIPS based smartphone running Android and is very optimistic about the future for MIPS and Ingenic in the mobile world.

It is hardly coincidental that Ingenic has chosen the MIPS architecture. Qiang Liu received his education from ICT that is well known for its Longson series of processors.  Ingenic has chosen to design its own core rather than buying a core from MIPS as it allowed a design that has the lowest power consumption in the industry.

Ingenic is now in the marketing phase where it is looking for customers outside of China.S|A

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