Initial Licensees of the MIPS32(R) 34K(TM) Core Family Include iVivity, Mobileye and PMC-SierraMOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Feb. 6, 2006
-- MIPS Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: MIPS - News), today introduced the MIPS32® 34K(TM) family of cores, a revolutionary multi-threading solution for high-performance, cost-sensitive embedded applications. The 34K core family is the first to implement the MIPS® MT ASE and leverages the proven 24KE(TM) microarchitecture that includes the MIPS DSP ASE. With its multi-threading capabilities, the 34K cores significantly reduce overall SoC die area, cost, and power consumption.
Additionally, the Company announced early adopter licensees including iVivity, Mobileye, and PMC-Sierra.
Single-threaded microprocessors today waste many cycles while waiting to access memory, considerably limiting system performance. The 34K cores are designed to mask the effect of memory latency by increasing processor utilization. As one thread stalls, additional threads are instantly fed into the pipeline and executed, resulting in a significant gain in application throughput. Internal benchmarks indicate that the 34Kc(TM) core running two threads achieved a 60% speedup over a single-threaded processor with only a 14% increase in die size.
Additionally, the 34K core family delivers superior real-time responsiveness for embedded applications. Users can allocate dedicated processing bandwidth to real-time tasks resulting in a guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS). This mechanism constantly monitors the progress of threads and dynamically takes corrective actions to meet or exceed the real-time requirements.
"MIPS Technologies has taken a straightforward and sensible approach in implementing multi-threading for embedded applications," said Jim Turley, principal analyst, Silicon Insider. "It's a well thought-out strategy that should result in improved system efficiency and cost savings for MIPS Technologies' new and existing customers."Usage models
The 34K cores can run existing 2-way SMP operating systems (OSes) and applications with minimal changes. But it can also be used in environments where independent concurrent threads have very different roles ("AMP" or asymmetric multiprocessing).
Additionally, the 34K cores can be configured with a maximum of two VPEs (Virtual Processing Element-a representation of the OS-only visible state of the MIPS32 architecture) and five TCs (Thread Context-a representation of the user-state of the MIPS32 architecture) for ultimate design flexibility. This dual VPE capability allows the 34K cores to run two independent operating systems concurrently or alternatively a 2-way SMP OS. In addition, up to five TCs can be used to allow a single OS to run up to five processes concurrently.Customers benefit from:
-- Lower system cost
-- Improved system performance
-- Lower power consumption
-- Additional functionality
-- Leveraged software investment for many applications
-- Guaranteed real-time performanceCustomer Adoption
"The decision to utilize a 34K core in our storage network processor design came after extensive internal benchmarking against a competitive multi-core solution," said Jim O'Connor, senior vice-president of engineering at iVivity. "The realized saving in die size and power consumption, coupled with its compelling performance, made the 34K core stand out as the clear winner."
"Critical to the design of our second generation Eye-Q2(TM) SoC was application performance, proven reliability and guaranteed real-time response," said Elchanan Rushinek, vice president of engineering at Mobileye. "After evaluating competitive offerings, it was clear the value proposition of the 34K cores' multi-threading capability was the superior solution." (See separate release 2/6/06, "Mobileye Licensees MIPS Technologies' Multi-threading MIPS32® 34Kf(TM) Core for Next-Generation Driver Assistance SoC.")
"PMC-Sierra is recognized for our unique ability to innovate and integrate key technologies in leading-edge SoC solutions," said Dr. Robert Yung, vice president and chief technology officer at PMC-Sierra. "The 34K multi-threading technology offers the superior performance and functionality we require for some of our next-generation products."
"SoC designers who are serious about tackling the insatiable demand for greater system performance while addressing the need to reduce system costs- especially in the consumer market-find the value proposition of the 34K core family very compelling," said Jack Browne, vice president of marketing at MIPS Technologies. "We are delighted by the market's reception to the 34K cores thus far and anticipate continued rapid adoption."Target Markets and Applications
While the 24K® and 24KE core families continue to be MIPS Technologies' flagship products for single-threaded applications, the new 34K core family is designed specifically for multi-threaded workloads. These could be single applications with available explicit threads such as multiple VoIP channels in home applications. Alternatively, it could also be used to merge several single-threaded functions onto a single 34K core -- for example, a host-processor running Linux and a DSP running an RTOS in an STB application. The workload-concurrency in network routers and consumer devices such as Digital TV and DVD recorders means that they, too, benefit from the 34K cores.
The extreme flexibility of the 34K cores enables them to run in an SMP-like configuration, which makes them an ideal choice for high-performance imaging devices such as multifunction printers and scanners. Furthermore, the higher application throughput combined with the power-efficiency of the 34K cores make them especially suitable for low-power applications such as digital cameras, mobile handheld devices and portable media players.Development Support: The MIPS® Ecosystem
With MIPS Technologies' existing third-party vendor relationships and the robust ecosystem that already supports the MIPS32 architecture, licensees of the 34K cores can quickly reap the benefits of multi-threading.Key solution-providers with optimized 34K core support include:
Accelerated Technology now supports the 34K core family with the Nucleus RTOS and Eclipse-based Nucleus EDGE IDE. The Nucleus RTOS is robust, scalable and has a minimal memory footprint. The Nucleus RTOS family of products consists of a complete line of networking, USB, graphics and file system libraries, providing embedded developers with everything they need to deploy a wide variety of embedded applications. The Nucleus EDGE IDE software gives developers an Eclipse-based development environment. Both of these products are seamlessly integrated to provide developers with a comprehensive solution to design and deploy their product to market quickly and easily.
Cadence Encounter® Reference Methodology is available for customers of the 34K core family and provides a fast, predictable path to high-quality silicon. Cadence Incisive® emulation offers hardware/software co-verification with Palladium®, which integrates with FS2 probes and a variety of software debuggers.
CoWare's ConvergenSC provides a powerful, standards-based environment to develop, analyze, and optimize SystemC transaction-level platform models, speeding the concurrent design of SoCs with embedded software at the electronic system level (ESL).
Denali's Databahn(TM) cores provide DDR controller solutions for high-performance memory sub-systems and facilitate chip interface design, integration and verification. Coupled with the multi-threaded capabilities of the 34K cores, their high-performance memory systems offer customers additional differentiation in performance, throughput and cost.
Express Logic's ThreadX® is a small-footprint, highly efficient RTOS, now enhanced to support multi-threading on the 34K cores.
First Silicon Solutions (FS2) supports a comprehensive suite of EJTAG debug and trace tools for the 34K cores. The 34K PDtrace(TM) system, coupled with the System Navigator(TM) probe, provides best-in-class debug capabilities including support for hardware based multi-threading, allowing customers to concurrently capture and view execution flow, load/store addresses, and the associated data. FS2's tools are integrated with the GDB/Insight debugger found in the GNU-based MIPS SDE tool chain, ensuring seamless operation, sophisticated features, ease of use, and minimal cost to the developer.
Green Hills Software offers a total software development solution that employs leading-edge compiler technology optimized for the 34K core family.
Magma's reference methodology, based on the Magma Blast Create(TM) RTL-to-placed gates, Blast Plan(TM) Pro hierarchical design and the Blast Fusion® physical design solutions, enables the 34K core family to be easily integrated into SoC designs being implemented with Magma software.
Microsoft's next version of Windows® CE will run on the 34K core family. A board support package (BSP) will be available from the MIPS Technologies' website.
MIPS Technologies' Software Toolkit combines the popular Free Software Foundation (FSF) Open Source GNU tools with MIPS Technologies' proprietary runtime libraries that are pre-configured to many of its popular evaluation boards. The MIPS software development environment (SDE) supports the latest features of the 34K core family. The MIPS SDE Lite package is available for free download from www.mips.com
OCP-IP, the industry association delivering OCP as the standard for IP core interfaces that facilitate "plug and play" SoC design, defines the high-performance, out-of-order, on-chip protocol that is employed in the native interface for all 34K cores.
Sonics provides a scalable intelligent interconnect architecture, boosting 34K-based system performance and enabling easy integration of other peripherals. In addition, its SMART Interconnects(TM) allows users to customize their designs and reduce time to market.
Synopsys' optimized Galaxy(TM) Design Platform reference flow is available for customers of the 34K core family, helping them meet performance targets quickly.
TimeSys Corporation delivers subscription-based access to a MIPS32 Linux distribution through LinuxLink by TimeSys(TM), a commercially-supported Linux solution delivering the latest Linux features directly from MIPS Technologies. LinuxLink incorporates an optimized open-source tool chain and enhanced Linux kernel for the 34K cores, in addition to continuously updated software components and tools.
Virage Logic Corporation's Area, Speed and Power (ASAP) MemoryT power efficient memory compilers, and ASAP LogicT standard cell libraries are optimized for MIPS Technologies' 34K core family.
Virtio's VPMM-SC Virtual Platform for MIPS Malta(TM) development boards models the 34K core family for software development before hardware availability. This Virtual Platform offers a choice of instruction-accurate and cycle-accurate CPU models. VPMM-SC increases a software developer's productivity by allowing superior visibility and control into the hardware and software for efficient debug. See www.virtio.com/vpmm-sc
for more information.
As a leader in the device software optimization industry, Wind River is excited about the advances that the 34K core family offers and the innovation it will enable in device software. Wind River will work with its customers to realize the benefits of these advances.MIPS32 34Kc Core Product Specifications(1,2)
Process: 90nm G
Frequency: 500 MHz (worst case)
Core Size: 2.1 mm2 (core only, extracted from full layout GDSII database)
Power Consumption: 0.56 mW / MHz @ 1.0V (core only)The MIPS32 34K Core Family
The 34K core family includes the 34Kc(TM), 34Kf(TM), 34Kc Pro, and 34Kf Pro cores.
34Kf(TM) Core: Adds hardware floating point support that is fully compliant with the IEEE 754 specification.
34K Pro Series® Cores: 34Kc Pro and 34Kf Pro Series cores feature the CorExtend(TM) capability which allows SoC designers to add proprietary instructions and tightly coupled hardware.
For additional product information please go to www.mips.com
The 34K core family is generally available to customers now.About MIPS Technologies
MIPS Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital consumer and business 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 and its licensees offer the widest range of robust, scalable processors in standard, custom, semi-custom and application-specific products. The company is based in Mountain View, CA, and can be reached at +1 (650) 567-5000 or http://www.mips.com
.(1) Frequency, power consumption and size depend upon configuration options, synthesis, silicon vendor, process, and cell libraries.
(2) Configuration: Two Virtual Processing Elements (VPEs) running four threads, 32K/32K caches