MIPS Technologies,, along with Ingenic Semiconductor, has announced NOVO7, the world's first tablet with the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android, or, more officially, Android 4.0.

MIPS Technologies is a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital homes. MIPS powers numerous set-top-boxes, TVs, network switches, automotive and avionics systems. MIPS Technologieshad management problems through its history but things started to turn around last year after Sandeep Vij was named CEO. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company went through reorganization. The result is a more nimble competitor.

For the NOVO7 tablet, MIPS has collaborated with Ingenic Semiconductor, a leading Chinese CPU provider for mobile multimedia applications. This tablet is powered by Ingenic Semiconductor JZ4770 SoC, containing a single MIPS32-based processor core operating at 1GHz, paired with Vivante GC860 GPU featuring complete Full HD acceleration. This 14mm x 14mm (0.55 x 0.55) chip integrates XBurst1 CPU with an 8-stage pipeline and dual-cache architecture, as well as video and graphics units, DDR/LPDDR/DDR2 memory controller and a large number of interfaces and chipset components, like timers, Real Time clock and others. The XBurst1 CPU is compatible with MIPS32 and can handle Floating Point and SIMD instructions. The main advantages of the XBurst1 core are small size and have very low power consumption.

The new Android 4.0 tablet is available in China and online through Ainol Electronics. It will be available in the U.S. and other countries soon.

We are pleased to join with MIPS to announce these breakthrough high-performance, low-power, low-cost Android 4.0 tablets. Combining the elegance of the MIPS architecture and Ingenic's innovation in processor design, we are bringing a new level of processor technology to mobile devices, said Qiang Liu, chairman and CEO, Ingenic Semiconductor.

The openness of Android is enabling a new level of connectedness and interaction between devices and between people across the globe. We are excited to be a part of the Android ecosystem delivering on that vision, said Vij.

MIPS developed a 64-bit architecture nearly 30 years ago, with the products based on MIPS64 shipping inside networking equipment. Cavium Networks, NetLogic Microsystems and even Cisco Systems are either shipping or evaluating MIPS64 architecture for their network products. Power consumption also seems to be a strong point of the MIPS architecture.