MIPS® TECHNOLOGIES PACT WITH AMPRO® COMPUTERS TO DRIVE BOARD STANDARDS, SPEED TIME TO MARKET FOR MIPS-BASED EMBEDDED SYSTEMS
Worldwide Standard MIPS® Platform to be Created for Both Software Development and Production Environments
MIPS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIPS, MIPSB) a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital consumer and network applications, and Ampro Computers, Inc., the inventor and leading supplier of PC/104 and EBX form-factor single-board computers (SBCs) for embedded applications, have announced a broad technology, design and marketing agreement to accelerate both the development and deployment of MIPS-based systems for embedded applications. In addition, the agreement sets the stage for the adoption of Ampro's new EnCore platform as an industry standard featuring advanced MIPS-based embedded microprocessors.
Under terms of the multi-year agreement, Ampro will develop system modules based on MIPS32? processors that can function both as MIPS software development platforms and high-volume OEM products. These new modules will be based on Ampro?s EnCore platform that provides for the efficient delivery of high performance CPU technology enabling accelerated development of Internet- and other network-connected embedded systems.
The MIPS-based Ampro EnCore platform will be broadly supported by real-time operating systems (RTOS) and application software, and will be available to OEMs and software vendors for porting and development purposes. Developers of MIPS-based software and systems will be able to use OEM-quality board-level computers produced in high volume, rather than the hand-built development and evaluation boards often supplied by semiconductor manufacturers.
"Alliances with companies are the heart of MIPS Technologies? open model strategy for making the design of embedded systems fast, efficient, and successful. Our goal is to provide the broadest selection and best-of-class tools, services and applications support available,? said Brian Knowles, vice president of marketing at MIPS Technologies, Inc. ?This agreement will provide our licensees and their OEM customers with high-quality boards for early software development as well as wide-scale deployment, accelerating OEM product introductions.?
"We are pleased to be working with MIPS Technologies in creating development and production boards for its licensees and their customers,? stated Paul Rosenfeld, Ampro's vice president of marketing. ?This agreement also gives MIPS Technologies? licensees an advantage by establishing a hardware and software framework for their advanced processor implementations, not only for engineering purposes but also for use as OEM products. OEM customers of MIPS Technologies? licensees will have the ability to significantly accelerate the development and production of embedded systems by taking advantage of industry-supported software and the variety of form-factors supported by the EnCore platform.?
"Ampro is particularly pleased with this support for our EnCore architecture," Mr. Rosenfeld said, noting the EnCore platform represents the first processor-independent architecture for active backplane SBCs proposed to the industry. The x86 and PowerPC CPUs have been well supported in the embedded market by third-party board manufacturers. However, despite major market penetration by the MIPS architecture, broad hardware/software platforms have not been available in volume manufacturing formats. And while Ampro's initial EnCore 500 module is based on a 266-MHz Mobile Pentium, Mr. Rosenfeld added, "The time is right for us to enable systems designers at all volume levels to reap the benefits provided by low-power, high-performance MIPS embedded processors.?
EnCore modules are similar in concept to high-integration chips, interfacing directly to a designer?s form-factor-independent system board containing application-specific logic and I/O connections. EnCore technology coupled with advanced real-time operating systems (RTOS) allows designers to focus their design resources on their application-specific system board and application software. This combination of pre-integrated hardware and software will give MIPS developers a crucial advantage in time-to-market.
EnCore modules interface to a baseboard through 272 pins that provide the PCI bus, I/O signals and power and ground. A typical EnCore module includes CPU, high-speed Ethernet, up to 128MB DRAM, sound, flash memory, serial, parallel and USB ports with support for IDE compatible devices. It may also include a 3D graphics controller. EnCore modules are 100mm x 145mm (3.94? x 5.70?) allowing wide flexibility in baseboard footprint.
Ampro believes the EnCore Platform will become the basis for an industry standard as occurred with Ampro-created PC/104 and EBX form-factors. Ampro will provide EnCore form-factor details to third parties, on request, to enable rapid growth in EnCore-compatible products and enhance the acceptance of the platform.
Ampro Computers, Inc., headquartered in San Jose, CA., is widely recognized as the leading global provider of modular embedded computing solutions for OEM applications. Ampro originated the PC/104 and PC/104-Plus standards, and co-authored (with Motorola) the EBX high-performance non-backplane single-board computer standard (based on Ampro's popular Little Board form-factor). Ampro's extensive line of integrated EnCore modules, PC/104 form-factor CoreModule CPUs, EBX form-factor Little Board single board computers and MiniModule expansion products enable OEMs to easily integrate a variety of computing architectures into their products while minimizing system size and shortening time-to-market.
About MIPS Technologies, Inc.
MIPS Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of industry standard processor architectures and cores for digital consumer and network applications. The company drives the broadest architectural alliance that is delivering 32- and 64-bit embedded RISC solutions. The Company licenses its intellectual property to semiconductor companies, ASIC developers, and system OEMs. MIPS Technologies, Inc. and its licensees offer the widest range of robust, scalable processors in standard, custom, semi-custom and application-specific products.
Licensees currently include: Alchemy Semiconductor, Inc.; Altera Corporation; ATI Technologies, Inc.; Broadcom Corporation; Centillium Communications, Inc.; Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd.; Conexant Systems, Inc.; empowerTel Networks (formerly Lara Technologies); ESS Technology, Inc.; Gemplus; IDT; Integrated Telecom Express; inSilicon Corporation; LSI Logic Corporation; Macronix America Inc.; Metalink Ltd.; Motorola Inc.; NEC Corporation; NeoMagic Corporation; NKK Corporation; Philips Semiconductors International B.V.; Quantum Effect Devices, Inc. (QED); QuickLogic Corporation; Sandcraft, Inc.; SiByte, Inc.; Sony Corporation; Synova Incorporated; Texas Instruments Incorporated; Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd.; Toshiba Corporation; and Virata Corporation. Numerous companies utilize MIPS-based? intellectual property. MIPS Technologies, Inc. is based in Mountain View, California, and can be reached at 650-567-5000 or http://www.mips.com
Ampro Computers, Inc. AMPRO is a registered trademark and EnCore, CoreModule, MiniModule, and Little Board are trademarks of Ampro Computers, Inc. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
MIPS Technologies, Inc.
MIPS is a registered trademark and MIPS-based and MIPS32 are trademarks of MIPS Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. All press materials are available on the World Wide Web via: http://www.mips.com .