Firefox OS Ported to Run on a Tablet With a MIPS CPU

Far from being just a web browser, Firefox is also an OS designed to run on smartphones, tablets,  the occasional TV dongle, and many other devices with Intel and ARM CPUs.

And now we can add MPS CPUs to that list. Developers at Imagination Technologies, a UK-based GPU and CPU R&D company, have ported Firefox OS to run on a reference design tablet with a MIPS-based CPU.

Firefox-OS-home-screen-MIPS-PowerVR[1]

Designed by the Chinese gadget-maker Ingenic, this sub-$100 tablet can run either Android 4.4 KitKat or Firefox OS on a 1.2GHz dual-core Ingenic JZ4780 CPU with PowerVR SGX540 GPU.

It has a 9.7" display with a screen resolution of 1024 x 768, front and rear cameras, Wifi, Bluetooth, two front-facing speakers, and a full-size HDMI port.

The company reports that the tablet is running an experimental version of Firefox OS, and that while it can run Android this is most definitely not a dual-boot tablet. The Android firmware will have to be flashed onto the tablet before it can be run.

There's no mention of whether that firmware comes with Google Play, but Imagination did say that the Firefox OS firmware will include full access to the Firefox Marketplace.

There aren't many first hand reports just yet, but Imagination did post this hands on video:

What do you think of the tablet so far?

I'm not impressed. I just got finished reading Ars Technica's post, which panned the tablet.

They got to see this tablet last week, the lucky blokes, and it's a pretty crappy tablet. Ars criticized the build quality, screen quality, and responsiveness. They also noted that this tablet has a separate round charging port (which usually means it can't charge over USB).

In short, this tablet exhibits many problems common to large, cheap tablets. This is more or less what I expected when I read that the tablet had a retail price of under $100, but that doesn't excuse the limitations.

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Yes, I know that this is a reference design, and not necessarily one which will hit the market, but in my experience the cheaper tablet makers have a bad habit of slapping their logo on the first design they see.

I expect we'll see this tablet on the market somewhere.

Imagination via Liliputing, ArsTechnica

About Nate Hoffelder (11585 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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