You'll be forgiven for never having heard of either Ingenic or Vivante, but it's likely that we'll be hearing a lot more about both companies in the future. Ingenic is a Chinese MIPS SoC maker, whereas Vivante makes GPU cores, much like Imagination Technologies and the two has now signed a licence agreement where Ingenic will be using Vivante's GPU cores in its products.

You'll be forgiven for never having heard of either Ingenic or Vivante, but it's likely that we'll be hearing a lot more about both companies in the future. Ingenic is a Chinese MIPS SoC maker, whereas Vivante makes GPU cores, much like Imagination Technologies and the two has now signed a licence agreement where Ingenic will be using Vivante's GPU cores in its products.

Ingenic's claim to fame so far is the fact that the company managed to port Android 4.0 to its MIPS based XBurst SoC and have one of its partners push out a tablet into the channel with the new OS ahead of its ARM based competitors. Vivante is far less known, but its GPU cores can be found in Marvell's Armada SoCs – the chips powering the second generation Google TV among other things – and Freescale's upcoming i.MX6 series of SoCs.

The new license agreement will allow Ingenic to use Vivante's future "high-end" GPU cores in its products. High-end in this case should be taken with a grain of salt, as although Vivante is producing some competent solutions, its competitors tend to offer similar solutions in terms of performance. Apparently we can look forward to OpenGL ES 2.0, ES "Next Gen", OpenGL and DX11 as well as Google Renderscript support in Vivante's next generation GPU core.

Vivante is moving towards more advanced solutions this year and will need as powerful a GPU core as possible to stay on top of the competition. The company is planning a move to 40nm from 65nm this year and is looking at hitting clock speeds of up to 1.5GHz with its XBurst2 architecture and is at the same time moving to a 64-bit MIPS core that is a dual-issue/dual-threaded part with SMP support. It's no doubt that the processor market is changing and it's doing so quickly. Companies like Ingenic as well as its Chinese competitors might soon enough be able to take on the larger, more well established players if they can prove that they can p