Customers Already Leveraging the MIPS32® 24K™ Core Family For Next-Generation Wireless, Consumer, Automotive and Office Applications MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 5, 2004 -
MIPS Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: MIPS) today announced that the highest performing 32-bit synthesizable processor core family in the embedded market has been released for general availability and licensing by OEMs and semiconductor companies. To date, the MIPS32® 24K™ core family has experienced the fastest early rate of licensing of any MIPS Technologies' core in the company's history. The product family is targeted at high-volume market applications such as broadband access, wireless, networking, digital television and office automation. Silicon based upon customer implementations of the 24K family is expected to enter the market by the end of calendar year 2004.
The 550 MHz 24K family is ideally suited for performance-hungry applications and cost-sensitive markets, and offers 1.44 Dhrystone MIPS/MHz performance in a core area of less than 3.0 mm2, along with a wide range of configurable features. At the same time, it offers SOC designers broad tool and software support that minimizes development time, risk and cost. Development support includes tailored, front-to-back-end design methodologies and a standard, Open Core Protocol (OCP) interconnect structure. The core family also was designed to be implemented using standard high-performance libraries and on-chip memories from industry-leading companies.
"Since we introduced the 24K microarchitecture just a few quarters ago, we have seen extraordinary interest and demand for the first products," said John Bourgoin, president and CEO of MIPS Technologies. "The combination of high performance in a flexible, synthesizable core coupled with a low system cost point is clearly appealing. We also are pleased with the growing list of leading third parties within the MIPS ecosystem that are optimizing their product offerings for SOC designers and software developers using the 24K core family."
"Performance-driven, cost-sensitive applications will benefit significantly from high performance products such as the 24K core family. It offers SOC designers the headroom needed to create competitive and differentiated products, while giving them the tools to get to market with speed, ease and efficiency," said Tony Massimini, chief technologist at market research firm Semico Research.
The 24K cores are ideal for engineers who need to keep costs down while adding more features and functionality to next-generation SOCs. High-performance, programmable processors give a design more headroom so that future upgrades can be implemented in software. The 24K cores also offer the features and flexibility to meet the needs of today's most demanding applications. For example:
- Automotive Telematics systems, which provide multi-function features such as car navigational systems, satellite radio and DVD players, often require multi-OS environments running simultaneous, real-time applications. The 24K family delivers the high performance and programmable features that meet these needs and those of next-generation systems, such as Internet browsing.
- Broadband service providers are targeting higher-speed and value-add services such as improved network security, voice-over-IP (VoIP) and video-on-demand, which require higher processing performance and system optimization. In WiFi networking, higher data rates and new features are routinely implemented before standards are solidified, so high performance and flexible microprocessors are required. The 24K family offers superior performance for higher data rate services, flexible solutions for changing standards, and customizable CorExtend™ instructions to enable highly differentiable, low-cost solutions.
- DVD systems require uncompromised performance at an attractive price point to run high-impact applications and system level services such as audio jukebox, digital photo archive, digital TV reception, DVD recording/navigation stacks, digital rights management systems, and multi-format audio video playback and record. The 24K family offers an OCP interface for fast SOC integration, fine grain clock gating to reduce power consumption, and the CorExtend capability and architectural enhancements to maximize system performance and resources.
- Set-Top Boxes and Interactive Digital TVs are required to perform more and more functions simultaneously, support ever-changing standards, offer security features, and run Java. The 24K family has the performance headroom to offer field-upgradeability and accommodate new standards, and was designed to power through Java, graphics and demanding applications with features such as an ultrafast multiply, floating point support and the CorExtend capability.
The number one feature of the 24K family is high performance. To yield high frequency, the 24K family is based on an 8-stage pipeline. A full cycle is allocated to the instruction and data cache access to enable performance scalability across a wide range of technologies. Sophisticated hardware branch prediction is present to keep the pipeline supplied with instructions. The memory subsystem was designed with high performance in mind. Four load misses may be outstanding and are processed by a 64-bit connection to the OCP interface standard.
The 24K core interface is standardized on OCP on-chip interconnect technology defined by the Open Core Protocol International Partnership (OCP-IP). Designers who choose to utilize OCP can build their cores independent of specific bus protocols and easily reuse OCP-compliant cores across multiple SOC designs, thus reducing development time and lowering risk and costs. They also can take advantage of MIPS Technologies' SOC-it™ system-level controller optimized for OCP. The SOC-it OCP controller provides a tightly coupled memory controller and includes a bridge to other on-chip system buses, thus reducing subsystem memory latency and increasing system throughput.
|400-550 MHz (worst case)
|576-792 Dhrystone MIPS
|less than 3.0 mm2 for a 24Kc™ core
All four cores in the 24K family include Release 2 features of the MIPS32 architecture, such as enhanced bit-field manipulation and reduced interrupt latency. Support for the MIPS16e™ code compression extension is standard. Because the product family is synthesizable and highly configurable, users can tune for performance, area or power to optimize the core for their particular design application. For example, they can specify the primary cache sizes, style of memory management unit, level of debug facilities and amount of clock gating.
- 24Kc core: Base version incorporating an eight stage pipeline that is optimized for high performance. Includes a 32x32 Multiply/Divide Unit and configurable memory management unit with TLB or fixed mapping.
- 24Kf™ core: Includes fully compliant IEEE 754 hardware floating point support at reasonably low cost, requiring less than 1.0 mm2 of additional area in a 0.13 micron process.
- 24Kc Pro and 24Kf Pro core versions: Offer user defined instructions, featuring the CorExtend capability, to accelerate processing. For example, it facilitates the optimization of a wide number of algorithms for data-plane style processing within a programmable environment. CorExtend technology is fully compatible with the industry-standard MIPS32 architecture, so full tool chain support is maintained.
Development Support: The MIPS® Ecosystem
To minimize the system-level design effort, MIPS Technologies has teamed with a broad range of industry-leading companies to provide customers with the development tools and software they need to quickly bring their MIPS-Based™ designs to market. For example:
Artisan Components' high-speed SAGE-HS™ standard cell libraries were used to help validate the performance of the 24K core family.
Cadence Design Systems' Encounter™ Reference Methodology is available for customers of the 24K core family and provides customers with a fast, predictable path to high-quality silicon.
Green Hills Software recently announced a total software development solution that employs leading-edge compiler technology optimized for the 24K microarchitecture.
Mentor Graphics recently announced that the VStation™TBX Accelerator was used to help verify the industry-leading performance of the 24K core family. Also, Mentor announced the availability of its Seamless® Hardware/Software Co-Verification solution for the 24K family, which enables designers to validate hardware/software interfaces in a virtual prototype prior to fabrication of the design.
Microsoft's latest version of Windows CE .NET version 4.2 runs on the 24K core family. A board support package (BSP) is 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 24K core family. The MIPS SDE-lite package is available for free download from www.mips.com.
MontaVista Software is working with MIPS Technologies to ensure that its MontaVista Linux solution is optimized and tuned for the 24K core family.
OCP-IP, the industry association dedicated to making a common standard for IP core interfaces that facilitate "plug and play" SOC design, defined the on-chip interconnect technology that is employed as the native interface for all 24K cores.
Synopsys' optimized Galaxy™ Design Platform reference flow is available for customers of the 24K core family, which will help customers meet their performance targets quickly.
Virage Logic Corporation's high speed, power efficient ASAP memory product line was used to demonstrate the 550 MHz performance of the 24K core family.
Wind River Systems' VxWorks real-time operating system will provide a foundation that can be extended with Wind River's market specific PLATFORM.
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, Calif., and can be reached at +1 (650) 567-5000 or www.mips.com.