Google recently announced, at its Android Developers Forum, the latest update to their NDK. This was a fulfilment of Amit Rohatgi’s promise that Google would be adding the MIPS ABI into the Android NDK.
Amit Rohatgi is MIPS Mobile Architect and, in the light of recent MIPS developments, he promised that MIPS will be fully supported inside the Android community at Linley Tech Mobile Conference 2012.
These MIPS developments we’re talking about are the fact that there are almost 2 million MIPS tablets
that have been sold recently, the launch of MIPS’ first 64-bit
mobile processor, along with the fact that the first Android 4.0
tablet was powered by a MIPS CPU and not an ARM one as many of you probably expected.
As we’ve revealed in our previous articles, MIPS
has long had a 64 Bit architecture and it is very experienced with it. MIPS had 64 Bit server CPUs back in 1991, while ARM
is just licensing 64 Bit technology this year.
The new features for MIPS Developers using Android NDK, Revision 8 are:
- Added support for the MIPS ABI, which allows [Developers] to generate machine code that runs on compatible MIPS-based Android devices. Major features for MIPS include MIPS-specific toolchains, system headers, libraries and debugging support. For more details regarding MIPS support, see docs/CPU-MIPS.html in the NDK package.
-By default, code is generated for ARM-based devices. [Developers] can add mips to your APP_ABI definition in your Application.mk file to build for MIPS platforms. For example, the following line instructs ndk-build to build your code for three distinct ABIs: APP_ABI := armeabi armeabi-v7a mips
-Unless [Developers] rely on architecture-specific assembly sources, such as ARM assembly code, you should not need to touch your Android.mk files to build MIPS machine code.
-[Developers] can build a standalone MIPS toolchain using the --arch=mips option when calling make-standalone-toolchain.sh. See docs/STANDALONE-TOOLCHAIN.html for more details.
-The Android NDK is a toolset that lets developers embed components that make use of native code in Android applications.
-Android applications run in the Dalvik virtual machine. The NDK allows you to implement parts of your applications using native-code languages such as C and C++. This can provide benefits to certain classes of applications, such as reuse of existing code and in some cases increased speed.
As Intel's Atom recently received two deadly blows after somewhat successfully entering the mobile phone market, now MIPS, receiving full support from Google, is possibly the last nail in the coffin for Intel's low performing processor. But more on Atom's ill-fated lack of future in an upcoming article.