AUSTIN, Texas Both Microsoft Corp. and Metrowerks Inc. announced this week that their software products would support the MIPS microprocessors of MIPS Technologies Inc.
Microsoft announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that its Windows CE.Net operating system supports both 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS architectures and cores.
MIPS processors dominate the digital cable set-top box market, which Gartner Dataquest predicts will double from 40 million units this year to 93 million in 2005. Many digital cameras, DVD players, broadband modems, and other consumer products have been built around 32-bit MIPS processors.
Kevin Meyer, vice president of marketing at MIPS Technologies (Mountain View, Calif.), said that 64-bit architectures will become more attractive as secure information access for e-commerce and high-resolution graphics for entertainment become more important, prompting the evolution of some digital consumer product s from 32 to 64 bits. Microsoft's CE.Net currently supports only one 64-bit architecture: MIPS, Meyer noted.
Metrowerks (Austin, Texas), an independently operated subsidiary of Motorola Inc., announced Version 4.0 of its CodeWarrior integrated development environment (IDE) for embedded systems based on MIPS processors. The CodeWarrior IDE supports the MIPS32 instruction set, as well as MIPS processors from Integrated Device Technology, LSI Logic, NEC and PMC-Sierra. The CodeWarrior for the MIPS toolset includes a new compiler, and sells for $4,995.
When Metrowerks was acquired by Motorola three years ago, several analysts were concerned that the company would drop its support for non-Motorola processor architectures. That proved not to be the case, particularly as Motorola has de-emphasized its M-core 32-bit architecture project.