MIPS TECHNOLOGIES AND TSMC FORM STRATEGIC ALLIANCE TO DELIVER "HARD" VERSIONS OF MIPS 32- AND 64-BIT PROCESSOR CORES
TSMC-Optimized Cores Speed Time-to-Market and Lower Barriers to Integrating "Drop-in" Processor Cores In SOC Designs
Mountain View, CA, March 20, 2000 - MIPS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIPS) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE: TSM) announced today a broad strategic alliance to develop the first-ever TSMC-optimized "hard cores" for MIPS-based[tm] 32- and 64-bit processor cores, and to port future cores from MIPS Technologies to TSMC processes. The agreement initially covers the development of TSMC process-specific MIPS32[tm] and MIPS64[tm] processor cores, which will be made available by MIPS Technologies to designers in fabless semiconductor firms, traditional semiconductor manufacturers and system OEMs on a per-use basis. This dramatically lowers the cost of entry for system-on-chip (SOC) designers.
These proven, pre-verified cores enable easy, "drop-in" processor implementation, greatly reducing time-to-market, development risk and development costs for high-performance system-on-chip designs. In addition, the jointly-defined hard cores will eliminate the time required to convert "soft" implementations into circuits with high performance, small die sizes and low power consumption.
Included in the agreement is the entire line-up of MIPS Technologies processor cores, including the MIPS32 4K[tm] family of 32-bit processor cores, the MIPS64 5Kc[tm] 64-bit processor core and the very high-performance MIPS64 20Kc[tm] 64-bit processor core with MIPS-3D[tm] graphics acceleration (to be introduced at Embedded Processor Forum in June, 2000). Cores will be optimized for TSMC's advanced submicron CMOS fabrication processes for drop-in use in the designer's SOC design flow.
"The foundry model is changing the semiconductor manufacturing infrastructure in dramatic ways," said Jim Hines, principal analyst, GartnerGroup/Dataquest (San Jose, Calif.). "By the year 2005, foundry-manufactured products will account for 25 percent of worldwide semiconductor revenues, and this number will reach 40 to 50 percent by the end of the decade. This alliance recognizes the central role foundries will play in realizing system-level integration in silicon through the use of process-optimized, high-performance IP cores."
"The mantra of design re-use, lower design costs and faster time-to-market is now a reality for TSMC customers, at least when it comes to MIPS Technologies' 32- and 64-bit processor cores," said Tony Massimimi, chief of technology with Semico Research Corporation (Phoenix, Ariz.). "For MIPS Technologies, it is the first time they have delivered hard cores and it provides a significant new channel of opportunity to supply performance-optimized processor cores to fabless semiconductor makers and system OEMs. For TSMC, it provides valuable new processor IP to add to their growing portfolio of TSMC process-ready IP."
"This alliance with the world's largest dedicated semiconductor foundry puts the benefits of integrating the world's most advanced licensable processor IP into the hands of a large and fast growing segment of the SOC developer market," said Brian Knowles, vice-president of marketing at MIPS Technologies, Inc. "With TSMC foundry-optimized cores in the TSMC IP portfolio, MIPS Technologies has a manufacturing option that makes it possible for any TSMC customer to integrate our processor cores into their SOC designs quickly and cost-efficiently. This agreement simplifies SOC development by allowing designers to manage COT (Customer-Owned-Tooling) design flows, and IP sourcing through a common vendor. This will reduce costs and improve time-to-market for SOC developers."
Peyman Kazemkhani, IP Alliance program director at TSMC, said, "By adding MIPS Technologies' cores to our IP Alliance portfolio, we are providing our customers with powerful new building blocks for high-performance system-on-chip designs. We now offer an extensive line-up of third-party IP blocks, along with the world's largest and most advanced fabrication facilities. This agreement is an important part of TSMC's commitment to lowering the barriers of entry to high-performance SOC design for our worldwide customer base."
MIPS Technologies Processor Cores
The MIPS Technologies family of 32- and 64-bit processor cores include the MIPS32 4K series of 32-bit processor cores, the MIPS64 5Kc 64-bit processor core and the MIPS64 20Kc high-performance processor core with MIPS-3D graphics acceleration extensions. The MIPS32 4K family and the MIPS64 5Kc processor core are available from MIPS Technologies now. The MIPS64 20Kc processor core will be introduced later in 2000.
All MIPS32 4K 32-bit processor cores provide a powerful 32-bit RISC processor platform. The MIPS32 4Kp[tm] is an entry-level 32-bit processor core that is optimized for low-power consumption while providing software compatibility with the MIPS32 architecture. The MIPS32 4Km[tm] is a mid-range 32-bit processor with fast MAC instructions designed to provide optimum performance at a low price. The MIPS32 4Kc is a high-performance 32-bit processor optimized for performance.
The MIPS64 5Kc high-performance 64-bit processor core features a high-performance 64-bit MIPS® processor core with fast MAC instructions. It is user-level code compatible with R4000® and R5000® processors. The MIPS64 5Kc 64-bit core includes a set of 32 general-purpose 64-bit registers, four execution units, power management features, a programmable cache memory controller, a memory management unit that implements virtual memory with a 16, 32 or 48 dual-entry TLB, and features a fully static, single clock-based design. A general purpose co-processor interface provides the ability for SOC designers to add application specific execution engines to enhance performance.
The MIPS64 20Kc core is a high-performance, superscalar 64-bit integer core with integrated 64-bit floating-point co-processor, MIPS-3D ASE instruction code support, and fast MAC instructions. Further details of this flagship product will be announced in June, 2000 at the Embedded Processor Forum.
About MIPS Technologies, Inc.
MIPS Technologies, Inc. is one of the world's primary architects of embedded 32- and 64-bit RISC processors. 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 Microprocessor Design Group (Cadence); ATI Technologies Inc.; Broadcom Corporation; Centillium Communications, Inc.; Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd.; CommQuest (IBM); ESS Technology, Inc.; Excess Bandwidth Corporation; General Instrument Corporation; Integrated Device Technology, Inc. (IDT); Lara Technology, Inc.; LSI Logic Corporation; Macronix; Metalink Ltd.; NEC Corporation; NKK Corporation; Philips Semiconductors; Quantum Effect Devices, Inc. (QED); Sandcraft, Inc.; SiByte, Inc.; Sony Corporation; Synova; Texas Instruments Incorporated; Toshiba Corporation; and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. 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.
TSMC is the world's largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, providing the industry's leading process technology, library and IP options and other leading-edge foundry services. TSMC operates six eight-inch wafer fabs (Fab 3, 4, 5, 6, TASMC and WaferTech), and two six-inch wafer fabs (Fabs 1 and 2). In addition, the company has begun construction of a $1.2 billion joint venture fab with Philips Semiconductor, which is scheduled to open in Singapore in 2000. TSMC recently broke ground for Fabs 7 and 12, the company's first 12-inch wafer fabrication facilities. In 2000, TSMC expects to have the capacity for nearly 3.4 million 8-inch equivalent wafers. Fabrication processes offered by TSMC include CMOS logic, mixed-mode, volatile and non-volatile memory, and BiCMOS. TSMC's corporate headquarters are in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan. More information about TSMC is available through the World Wide Web at http://www.tsmc.com.