Two weeks ago, MIPS and our partner, Karbonn, announced the commercial availability of an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet. It was in fact the first 3rd party Jelly Bean tablet offered for sale in the world.  To be clear, MIPS-Based Karbonn Smart Tab 1 was the first Android 4.1 tablet beyond Google’s Nexus 7 in the market, ahead of all other OEMs including Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG etc. On top of that, it was and still is also the world’s lowest cost Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet.

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Definitely worthy of getting the Gold in the race to join Google’s own Nexus 7 tablet in the unofficial Jelly Bean Olympics!

The Karbonn Smart Tab 1 tablet, which leverages the ultra low-power MIPS-Based™ JZ4770 SoC from Ingenic Semiconductor, is available now to consumers in India, priced at approximately US$125.

Not to toot our own horn, but this is the second time in a row that MIPS and its partners have been first to market (beyond Google) with a product featuring the latest version of Android. In December 2011 MIPS and Ingenic announced the world’s first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet.

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What is the advantage of moving so fast?

When a new version of Android is released, obviously everybody wants it! How can you not love Jelly Bean’s noticeably faster user interface and butter-smooth feel?

Phones and tablets that are first to feature a new release of Android have a marketable advantage, and OEMs known for swiftly providing updates also have an advantage. MIPS has been able to show itself as a strong ally to any chip companies and OEMs looking to get to market ahead of the competition.

Each new version of Android provides developers with better tools and opportunities. For example, the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) release unified tablets and phones so that developers need only code once and their apps will work on both types of devices. And with Jelly Bean, additional design principles were instrumented in the Android framework to ensure a consistent user-experience across all devices.

For MIPS, being fast to market demonstrates our Android expertise, and shows how we help our customers and OEMs to get to market first (or at least second to Google.). We’re prepared and committed to quickly porting each new release for our licensees and partners, and supporting them all the way to market. We have made ourselves experts on Android, and do a significant amount of the porting of Android on behalf of our semiconductor licensees. This lightens their workload, and allows them to complete their end products sooner. For the Android 4.0 and 4.1 tablets, respectively first and second in the market, we worked closely with our licensee Ingenic and its OEMs to ensure a stable release was available in record time.

In the coming months, as Google continues to accept MIPS sources into the Android tree, we will work to ensure that MIPS’ solutions are ahead of the pack when new versions of Android are released.

For MIPS licensees, Android Jelly Bean on MIPS source code is available for download now on the MIPS Developer Site.

About the author: Amit Rohatgi

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