Google thinks wearable devices will become the next contested area as it recently launched its Android Wear operating system which is designed to run on smartwatches. The search giant has even partnered with a chip manufacturer to make sure that its wearable operating system will be used by the likes of LG, Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Motorola.
Chinese company Ingenic Semiconductor has come up with a system on chip the size of a quarter that could power future Android wearables. Newton is a computer with a MIPS-based CPU designed for wearables. It can best be described as a smaller version of Raspberry Pi.
- Processor: low power, high performance 1GHz MIPS-based Ingenic JZ4775 CPU
- Multimedia: Dedicated 2D graphics engine, Multi-standard VPU (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1, H.264, VP8, RV9) designed for smooth [email protected] playback
- Memory: 256KB L2 cache RAM + up to 3GB mobile DDR3/DDR2/LPDDR RAM + eMMC
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n at 2.4/5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR (including Bluetooth LE support), NFC, FM
- Sensors: 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, pressure, humidity, temperature, bio-signal detection and processing
- Expansion Ports: UART, I2C, USB, GPIO
The Ingenic Newton is designed to fit in devices the size of a quarter making it ideal for use in smartwatches, home appliances, healthcare, security, industrial control, and consumer electronics just to name a few.
Some of the key benefits of the Ingenic Newton include
- Integrates a scalable, high performance and efficient architecture
- Includes the right balance of media-rich features like hardware video codecs and 2D graphics
- Implements fine-grain power management, leading to longer battery life
- Delivers a comprehensive set of low-power communication capabilities
- Is a proven, Android-certified technology that has already shipped in several popular smartwatch models
While Newton is still no compatible with Android Wear this may change soon as announced by the company. “Android Wear is still in development so we can’t claim full compatibility yet. We are, however, the only CPU IP supplier on the list of Google ecosystem partners, so the MIPS architecture is fully covered.”
Intel and Qualcomm are also Android Wear partners however both companies make their own chips which tend to be quite expensive. Ingenic on the other hand licenses its designs to other companies making it a more cost effective choice.