Less than a year ago, Sigma Designs released the SMP8652, a secure media processor “designed to provide the optimal price/performance configuration for thin client applications, which include IPTV set-top boxes, digital media adapters, and hybrid cable/IP thin clients.”
SMP8652 provides cost savings compared to the SMP863X series, due the integration of functions such as Ethernet and USB – that allowed them to skip PCI support in their new chip – and better performance (500Mhz MIPS24K CPU).
SMP8650 series processors also use the MRUA and DCCHD SDK that need to be purchased as for the previous generation of chips.
You can also purchase more SDK from Sigma for SMP8652:
- Adobe Flash Lite
- Qt/Webkit Integration
- Java VM
- Some DRM SDK (e.g. Microsoft DRM)…
As for SMP8630 series, SMP86520 series processors also have a MMU (as most of new chips nowadays) so that you won’t come across the uClinux memory issues seen in EM8620 series.
SMP8650 series uses linux 2.6.22 and 2.6.29 kernels depending on the SDK.
The kernel and tools are licensed under GPL, so manufacturers need to release them. You download some GPL tools / kernel used in SMP864x/SMP865x products.
Beside the new SDKs and features available, there are at least two major differences from a developer point of view:
- No framebuffer support:
SMP8652 SDK does not allow direct access to the framebuffer, instead directFB must be used to create the user interface of your product. That may mean you have to fully redesign the user interface if you had previous products that were based on a GUI system that does not support directFB (e.g. microwindows).
That said directFB API is pretty good and allow the design of very nice user interfaces.
- NAND Flash
This provides much more space for your firmware at a lower cost compared to NOR flash. However, you’ll have to manage problem with bad blocks, that may not be that easy. Read the thread about Porpcorn Hour C-200 firmware issues: [C-200] How to recover Firmware if something goes wrong, if you don’t believe me.
Sigma Designs also provides support for Android on their SMP8650 and SMP8640 series for a selected number of customers:
Sigma Designs Android Presentation (Original link)
Sigma Designs Android Presentation (Mirrored from previous link in cnx-software website)
You may not be able to get the full Sigma Designs Android SDK, but you can still register at http://www.mips.com/android to get MIPS Android Public to get familiar with Android on MIPS.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.