High-Performance, Low-Power Cores Provide Converged RISC/DSP Functionality
MOUNTAIN VIEW,Calif. -- March 29, 2006 -- MIPS Technologies, Inc. today announced that the embedded industry's highest-performance, lowest power, 32-bit synthesizable processor cores with integrated DSP functionality have been released for general availability and licensing. The award-winning MIPS32® 24KE(TM) core family enables OEMs and semiconductor companies to significantly reduce SoC costs, die area, and power consumption. Early access licensees have already received silicon and announced products based on the 24KE core family. One of the first announced products based on this core family is the INCA®-IP2 SoC developed by Infineon Technologies AG (FSE/NYSE: IFX) for the VoIP market which contains two 24KE cores. (See Infineon's release entitled "Infineon's Unique VoIP Processor Revolutionizes IP-Phone Designs, Doubling CPU Performance for Feature Rich Devices with Benchmark Voice Quality," March 2, 2006, at www.infineon.com.)
With its converged RISC/DSP functionality, the 24KE core family offers an ideal solution for companies competing in cost-sensitive and power-sensitive consumer electronics markets, where many applications require both control and signal processing. Traditionally, many SoCs use a RISC CPU for control functions and a separate DSP for signal processing. By integrating the MIPS® DSP ASE (Application-Specific Extension), the 24KE core family eliminates the need for a separate DSP.
Among the benefits of the 24KE cores are lower silicon cost, lower power consumption, and an easier, shorter, less-costly development process. In addition, the 24KE core family delivers up to 3x the signal processing performance of RISC processors without the DSP ASE.
Versatile, Synthesizable Processor
One of the distinguishing features of the 24KE core family is its unprecedented versatility. It is fully static, fully synthesizable, and requires no custom cells or memories. It can be synthesized using best-of-class physical IP from multiple vendors. For example, in a 90nm GT process, using high speed memories from Dolphin Technology and high speed standard cells, the 24KE cores can achieve a clock frequency of 850MHz. At 1.46 DMIPS/MHz, this design provides an impressive 1240 DMIPS.
For SoCs where maximum speed is not the only goal, the 24KE cores can be synthesized in a low-cost 90nm G process using high density standard cells and memories such as those from Virage Logic. Using this IP, when optimized for power and area, a complete 24KE processor, including 16K I and D Level 1 caches, occupies just 2.0mm(squared) and consumes only 0.43mW/MHz. Even lower power figures can be achieved by using more aggressive low-power techniques such as multi-VT and voltage/frequency scaling.
The energy efficiency of the 24KEc(TM) core was recently independently verified by BDTI in the January 2006 issue of their publication "Inside DSP." In a head-to-head comparison between the 24KEc core and the ARM1136, BDTI concluded that "the MIPS32 24KEc is about 30% more energy-efficient."(1) An example of how MIPS Technologies processors can be used with an advanced low-power design flow can be found in a recent webinar produced by MIPS Technologies, Virage Logic, and Magma, available at: http://seminar2.techonline.com/s/virage_feb1606 .
"High performance cores that achieve frequencies of 850 MHz and provide RISC/DSP convergence are the ideal choice for engineers trying to solve the challenges of die size and cost, since both control and media functions can be now be combined onto a single host," said Jack Browne, vice president of marketing at MIPS Technologies. "OEMs and semiconductor companies who take advantage of the 24KE core family get the best of all critical design factors: high performance, low power, and low cost."
The 24KE core family is targeted at markets such as set-top boxes, DTVs, DVD recorders, voice switches, IP phones, digital cameras, cellular telephones, printers, modems, residential gateways, and automotive telematics. The low power consumption of these cores makes them ideal for battery-powered and thermally-constrained devices.
Applications enhanced by the MIPS32 DSP ASE include VoIP processing, narrowband and broadband communications, digital audio, graphics, video, and imaging. Some examples of the speedup achieved by the DSP ASE include a 68% improvement in IDCT processing (used in video compression) and a 106% speedup in IMDCT (used in MP3 decoding). Complex DSP kernel functions such as FIR filters achieve up to a 234% performance boost, while a standard 32x32 DCT with saturation is improved by 315%.
The MIPS32 24KE Core Family
The 24KE core family includes the 24KEc, 24KEf(TM), 24KEc Pro, and 24KEf Pro cores.
24KEc Core: Base core for the 24KE family, which includes the MIPS32 instruction set, an MMU, a fast multiple/divide unit, and the MIPS DSP ASE.
24KEf Core: Includes all of the features of the 24KEc and adds a high performance hardware floating point unit.
24KE Pro Cores: The "Pro" series of cores adds the CorExtend(TM) feature, which allows SoC designers to add proprietary, user-defined instructions and tightly coupled hardware. These instructions integrate seamlessly the processor's normal execution pipeline.
For additional product information please go to www.mips.com.
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 www.mips.com.
(1) Excerpted from Inside DSP, © 2006 BDTI. Contact info@BDTI.com for information.