MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 6, 2004 -
Micronas Using 625-MHz Cores to Enable Advanced, Cost-Effective Features in Digital TVs and Set-Top Boxes
MIPS Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: MIPS) today announced that Micronas (SWX Swiss Exchange: MASN, Frankfurt: MNSN, Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX), a leading supplier of semiconductors to the consumer electronics market, has licensed the MIPS32® 24K™ family of processor cores.
Micronas has been a MIPS Technologies licensee since 2002, when it licensed MIPS® IP to develop SOCs for digital TV applications. The company plans to use the MIPS32 4KEc™ and new 24Kc™ and 24Kf™ cores in both single- and multi-core chips for high-end set-top boxes (STBs) and digital TVs (DTVs). These applications demand high-performance, low-power, future-proof solutions that enable advanced services, content and functionality, while reducing system cost.
The MIPS architecture has long been the de facto standard for STBs and DTVs. The 24K core family, which became available earlier this year and set a company record for early licensing, is an ideal solution for performance-driven, cost-sensitive applications, especially those subject to unpredictable changes in standards and protocols. As synthesizable cores, the 24K core family can be targeted by customers at various process nodes. It offers the highest frequency available in a 32-bit synthesizable core, giving SOC designers the headroom to implement more features and future upgrades with software flexibility, rather than rigid hardware. In addition, MIPS cores offer designers the broadest industry support of OS, middleware, algorithms and tools to meet the challenges of the STB and DTV development environment.
One of the primary reasons Micronas chose the 24K core family is its standard, Open Core Protocol (OCP) interconnect structure, which accelerates time-to-market by enabling easy reuse of standard SOC IP. Designers who choose to utilize OCP can easily integrate memory controllers, bus interconnects and other standardized peripherals through common on-chip interfaces.
"In the set-top box and DTV markets, ever-changing standards, better security features, and more functionality and services demand the exceptional performance, configurability and support that come with MIPS cores. With the 24K and 4KEc cores, Micronas will offer its customers highly competitive, cost-effective solutions," said Dirk Wieberneit, vice president Product Development for the Consumer division of Micronas.
"With the deployment of the 24K core family, Micronas once again demonstrates technological leadership, taking advantage of the industry's highest-performance microprocessor cores," said Jack Browne, vice president of worldwide sales at MIPS Technologies. "We are delighted to expand our relationship with Micronas, whose MIPS-Based solutions further strengthen the MIPS architecture's number one position in the set-top and digital TV markets."
About the MIPS32 24K Core Family
The MIPS32 24K core family is targeted at high-volume applications such as broadband access, wireless, networking, digital television and office automation. It includes the 24Kc, 24Kc Pro, 24Kf and 24Kf Pro versions. The 24K cores, which are synthesizable, can be targeted by customers at various process nodes: in TSMC's 0.13G process they will exceed 400 MHz, and in the high-performance 0.13 LV-OD low-K process, they will exceed 625 MHz, the highest frequency available in a 32-bit synthesizable core for embedded markets. Designers have the flexibility to optimize for speed, area or power to obtain 2.8mm2 core-only size, 0.58 mW/MHz, or up to 900 Dhrystone 2.1 MIPS performance. In addition, the 24K core family offers the highest known Java performance in the SOC industry, or 5000 Embedded CaffeineMark 3.0 at 625 MHz. It also offers, in the 24Kf core, an integrated, high-performance IEEE 754-compliant floating point unit previously found in the MIPS64® 20Kc™ and 5Kf™ cores, which has a certified EEMBC Basic floating-point score of more than 1300 Iterations/MHz.
Development support includes tailored SOC design methodologies from Cadence, Magma and Synopsys, an OCP interconnect structure, and standard libraries and on-chip memories from leading companies that help speed time-to-market. MIPS16e™ code compression technology reduces memory requirements, providing significant savings in overall system cost.
Micronas (SWX Swiss Exchange: MASN, Frankfurt: MNSN, Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX), a semiconductor industry group of companies with worldwide operations, is a leading supplier of cutting-edge IC and sensor system solutions for consumer and automotive electronics. As a market leader of innovative global TV system solutions, Micronas leverages its expertise into new markets emerging through the digitalization of audio and video content and supports all major consumer electronics brands worldwide, many of them in continuous partnership seeking joint success. While the holding is headquartered in Zurich (Switzerland), operational headquarters are based in Freiburg (Germany). Currently, the Micronas group employs about 1900 people. In 2003, it generated CHF 767 million in sales. For more information on Micronas and its products, please visit www.micronas.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, Calif., and can be reached at +1 (650) 567-5000 or www.mips.com.