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Android port to MIPS completed

Jun 2, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 19 views

Embedded Alley (EA) announced it is has completed its port of the Linux/Java-based Android platform to the MIPS architecture. The Embedded Alley Development System for Android-based Devices initially targets devices ranging from set-top boxes (STBs) to industrial equipment running the MIPS-based RMI Au1250 processor.

(Click for larger view of RMI's Au1250-based Home Media Player ADK)

Announced in April, the MIPS implementation of the open-source Android stack should continue to extend Android beyond smartphones. Android netbooks and MIDs have already been announced, and yesterday, Qualcomm announced its Android-compatible ARM/Snapdragon-based “smartbook” platform.

EA's MIPS port for Android is aimed at an even wider range of devices, including STBs, portable media players (PMPs), mobile Internet devices (MIDs), digital TVs, automotive infotainment systems, medical devices, home automation appliances, SOHO networking devices, and instrumentation and industrial control, says the company.

The Android port is initially targeted at the RMI (Raza Microelectronics) Alchemy-family processors and specificially the low-power, multimedia-ready Au1250 system-on-chip (SoC). However, it will eventually be modified to support MIPS-based SoCs from other vendors, says EA. Additional MIPS processors targeting consumer electronics, and STBs especially, are offered by vendors ranging from Sigma to Broadcom.

RMI's Au1250 SoC was announced in January 2007 in versions clocked from 400MHz to 600MHz. Shortly after EA announced the MIPS/Android port in April, RMI announced a WiFi-enabled hardware/software development kit (pictured at top) for digital picture frames (DPFs) and mobile Internet devices (MIDs) based on the Au1250. The Home Media Player (HMP) Application Development Kit (ADK) includes a Linux Board Support Package (BSP), but with EA's Android support, it could conceivably be offered with Android as well.

EA's “Development System for Linux”

The “Development System for Linux” platform upon which the Android version is based, was recently revised in a version that added support for Freescale's i.MX31 SoC. The new version also introduced tools to create software Bills of Materials, track open source components, trace binary sources, and help OEMs comply with open source license obligations. The Development System includes cross compilers, a choice of Glibc or uClibc C libraries, debuggers, prepared file system images, and product-specific supporting libraries, says EA. For source-level debugging, a graphical, Eclipse-based IDE (integrated development environment) is provided.

According to EA, the company is working closely with open source community maintainers, MIPS Technologies, and the MIPS partner ecosystem to help developers work with the new platform. The company is also said to participate in open source projects, including Open Embedded, ALSA, and Linux kernel development “to ensure upstream integration of Android support in key project code.”

Stated Art Swift, MIPS Technologies VP of marketing, “We look to Embedded Alley as both an ecosystem partner and as an ambassador to key open source projects. With deep experience in embedded Linux, the MIPS architecture and multiple application domains, they will help enable OEMs to leverage the powerful combination of Android and MIPS.”


The Embedded Alley Development System for Android-based Devices is available now, says EA. The package includes support for select MIPS architecture boards from RMI and other MIPS licenseess, says the company. RMI is demonstrating support for the Alchemy-flavored Android at the Computex show this week in Taipei, Taiwan.

For more information on EA's MIPS/Android port, see our original in-depth coverage, here. Additional information is also provided at EA's website, here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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