MIPS sale and patent deal show how weird the chip world has become

MIPS Technologies has sold it’s business to Imagination, the graphics IP company, while selling more than 500 of its remaining patents to a consortium led by ARM Holdings, a onetime rival. The deals are an example of the huge shifts taking place in the semiconductor world.

Next Up for Android: Your Cable Box?

MIPS is announcing its new Android-powered SmartCE platform at CES today, showing off set-top boxes running Froyo, Skype video chat and a home media center solution. Platforms like these could one day also run on your cable box. But what does that mean for Google TV?

Video Interview: Why Hardware Support for WebM Matters

MIPS is one of more than a dozen hardware companies that was mentioned during Google’s announcement of its open source WebM video project. MIPS Director of Strategic Marketing Kevin Kitagawa told us why his company is supporting WebM and its open source video codec VP8.

Vid-Biz: Brightcove, RealD, 4Chan

Brightcove Hires David Mendels as President/COO; current board member and former EVP and GM of Adobe’s enterprise software division will be responsible for Brightcove’s international expansion efforts and operations. (paidContent)

Samsung Chooses RealD’s 3D Technology; Korean CE manufacturer has reached a deal with RealD to help it launch 3D TV sets for the home in 2010. (Broadcasting & Cable)

4Chan Presents YouTube Porn Day; the event is being organized in response to one account, Lukeywes1234, being suspended by YouTube. (TechCrunch)

Who Will Win the UK VOD Arms Race?; 2010 will be the year when a glut of competing services vie to be one of the UK’s main VOD aggregators. (paidContent)

Broadcom Launches New Chips to “Connect Everything”; at CES, the chip maker will demo communication between set-tops, digital TVs, broadband routers, and Blu-ray players. (VentureBeat)

Connectable Mobile Devices Forecast to Surge; Global manufacturers will ship about 58 million mobile broadband-enabled devices in 2014, compared to about 1 million shipped in 2008, ABI Research said in a report. (Video Business)

MIPS Bets Big on Android for the Digital Home; the chip designer hopes that Google’s Android operating system will become popular not only in cell phones, but in digital home devices as well. (VentureBeat)

Opera and GooMe Partner for Hybrid TV; the companies plan to deliver modular Web-based solutions for experiencing TV, web and home media for the set-top box and DTV industry. (Broadband TV News)

Writer’s Guild East Signs 13 More Digital Media Creators; New York-based union signed up 22 digital media production companies for the year. (Tubefilter)

InOutTV and Electra Announce Interactive TV Platform Service for Spain; Nationwide service availability will commence from first quarter 2010 over InOutTV’s digital terrestrial network. (IPTVwatch)

MIPS Joins the Push to Move Android Beyond Phones

The chip company MIPS this morning threw its support behind Android in a big way, unveiling a variety of products and technologies based on Google’s operating system. It’s one more sign that Android is moving beyond mobile phones into a host of devices and mediums.

Android: Coming Soon to a Picture Frame Near You

[qi:gigaom_icon_google-android] Google’s (s goog) Android platform may have started out in handsets, but it was only a matter of time before it ended up in a variety of other devices, from netbooks to set-top boxes. An executive at one of the companies that designs chips for embedded devices said his company is prepping the OS for the home, and we’ll first see Android in digital picture frames, according to a story today in the NY Times. Art Swift, vice president of marketing at MIPS Technologies (s mips), lauded Android for its simplicity and ease of use (although it will need to be tweaked to play back HD video).
However, this isn’t all about Android. By embracing Android, which can help create a standard operating system for the consumer electronics industry, MIPS is trying to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive area. Read More about Android: Coming Soon to a Picture Frame Near You

ARM Strength: 10 Billion Processors

ARM, a Cambridge, England-based company that licenses microprocessor-related technologies, says the total number of processors that use ARM technology now exceeds 10 billion. The first ARM chip shipped back in 1991. The ARM-based chips are in every hot device: the Nokia N95, iPods, the iPhone, TomTom portable GPS systems, even the Nintendo DS. They surely have come a long way, and have benefited from the mobile revolution in a big way. I used to follow this company pretty closely, and once wrote about the race between ARM and MIPS for Forbes.com. ARM has clearly outperformed MIPS over the past decade.