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Imagination and Altair Detail Growing Market for LTE Chips with Embedded MIPS-based CPU’s

March 2, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Mobile World Congress might be a show that’s dominated by consumer products like Samsung’s and HTC’s smartphones launches, but it’s also a trade show. One where new technologies are demonstrated and shown off on the show floor, or even just announced in a simple Press Release. From the likes of Qualcomm and their Snapdragon 820 to smaller manufacturers like Imagination and MIPS-based CPU’s, there’s always something being announced during these trade shows. Imagination Technologies and Altair are announcing that a new 4G chip has been approved by Verizon Wireless in the US, as well as letting us know that previous products are doing quite well.

MIPS is itself a RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) Instruction Set Application. Basically, it’s an instruction set similar to the x86_64 instruction set used by Windows and Mac OS X in your laptop or computer, but it’s designed to be as small as possible. Over the years, MIPS-based processors have been used in all sorts of applications, like the PlayStation Portable, for instance. Now though, chips based on the MIPS instruction are found inside of LTE chips inside the likes of the ASUS Chromebook 13.3-inch and Verizon’s Ellipsis 7 Android tablet. In a release earlier today, Imagination, the company behind the MIPS instruction set currently, and Altair, the company responsible for producing said LTE chips have detailed a new chipset and some interesting figures.

Those interesting figures surround the FourGee-3100/6200 chipset which has now been used in over 30 different devices and have sold millions of units. The successor to this LTE chip, the 3800/6300 has just been approved by Verizon Wireless for use on their network, and features download speeds of up to 150mbps as well as technologies like VoLTE (Voice over LTE). For us consumers, this isn’t going to sound like much, but for those interested in the industry it’s interesting to see Verizon looking at LTE solutions outside of Qualcomm chips, something that Samsung is pretty much forcing everyone to do with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge as these are powered by Samsung’s own Exynos CPU’s.