Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MIPS based smartphone passes Android CTS

The Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) and accompanying Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) comprise a self-administered program to ensure that a device is compatible with a particular version of Android, such as Froyo, Gingerbread, or HoneyComb. The CTS is a collection of roughly 24,000 tests that can be performed on any Android device. These tests are grouped into categories such as telephony, graphics, camera, location, touchscreen, WiFi etc. Google publishes a CDD for each major release of Android that specifies the requirements for each category of tests in the corresponding CTS.
So why is the CTS so important for device manufacturers? For starters, passing the CTS is a necessary (albeit not the only) condition to enable access to the Android Market, allow use of the Android logo on the device, and to a degree, ensure superior compatibility with the several hundreds of thousands of apps on the Market.

Until now all of the devices in the market that are known to have ‘passed’ the CTS are based on the ARM architecture. We at MIPS are proud to be the first to publicly announce a non-ARM based device to pass the CTS. This device is an Android Froyo based smartphone with an SoC from Ingenic Semiconductor based on the MIPS32 architecture, retailing for under $100. The phone is currently shipping in volume in China, Europe, India, and soon – North America. The phone has access to several hundred thousand apps, including popular titles such as Angry Birds, Pandora Radio, Shazam, Google Docs, Kindle, YouTube etc. We congratulate Ingenic Semiconductor for achieving this feat.
A testament to this mobile-related success (and much more to come from other MIPS licensees) is represented in yet another announcement we made at COMPUTEX 2011. TCL Corporation is bringing to market a MIPS-Based smartphone in China, leveraging the XBurst SoC from Ingenic Semiconductor. The phone will have coverage from China Mobile.
We applaud Google for providing such a rigorous compatibility test suite that helps to prevent fragmentation by ensuring a consistent user experience and standardized application programming interface for the many device manufacturers in the world who are rapidly taking advantage of Android as the strategic platform for smartphones and other network connected consumer devices. We look forward to announcements from Intel in the coming months as well, realizing Google’s true dream of Android architectural neutrality. MIPS will clearly accelerate the proliferation of Android as we bring Android not only to additional mobile handset SoCs, but also to the consumer electronics manufacturers that long ago selected MIPS-Based SoCs as their gold standard for products such as DTVs, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players.
ARM is no longer alone on top of the mobile mountain. We like it up here, and we are here to stay.

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