MIPS Technologies plans to extend its work in software tools to help close the gap between the compiler and processor core technology. But the company is to stick with its model of not selling tools directly and will work with third parties.
The model being used by MIPS is similar to that used by Intel to get support for its MMX and later instruction set extensions from third-party compilers. Intel licenses technology to the tool vendors. ARM Holdings, MIPS' main competitor, takes the approach of owning a full tool chain.
Proposed extensions to the MIPS architecture will complicate the job of compiler writers. In response, the company is to write more software components to ensure that the compilers have the necessary optimisations available.
Keith Diefendorff, vice-president of product strategy for MIPS, said: "There are critical pieces of software that MIPS has to invest in."
Kevin Meyer, vice-president of marketing, added: & quot;They will be building blocks, not value-added software. We do some software development today. Our simulator is integrated into GreenHills' toolchain. Going forward, we will provide blocks ourselves to build optimised solutions."
Diefendorff said: "If we don't make sure the enabling [software] technologies are in place, there is no sense in building high-performance cores."