CPU IP Designed for the Next Generation of High Performance Wireless Communications and Networking
In the wireless world, 5G promises to increase data bandwidth by an order of magnitude or more over existing LTE designs. There are many techniques and technologies being applied to meet this challenge, but most are based on increasing the parallelism in the system to achieve the higher total bandwidth goals on the network.
Higher data rates and parallel processing are not unique to just the LTE and 5G market and the modems in the products that support these communication goals. With limited future benefit for frequency scaling from advances in process technology (Moore’s Law broken), many applications in the broader communications and networking markets take advantage of parallel processing to scale to the challenge of increasing data rates.
MIPS Multi-Threaded Multi-Processor IP Core
In anticipation of these market trends and needs, the MIPS I7200 processor core provides highly efficient, scalable, parallel processing performance, designed upon a foundation of hardware multi-threading and multi-core cluster CPU technologies.
MIPS introduced its first multi-threaded CPU in 2006, and extended that multi-threaded multi-core processing in 2008. Building on over a decade of expertise, the MIPS I7200 is the latest generation in a popular line of performant and efficient IP cores utilizing these technologies. It offers a substantial step forward in performance over the previous generation interAptiv™ series, delivering gains in performance of ~50% over a variety of popular benchmarks, but achieves this in only a 20% increase in core size. The increased performance comes from the I7200 being a dual issue superscalar design, enabling support for vertical multi-threading – dual issue on a thread each clock cycle, and an ability to context switch between threads from cycle to cycle.
- Dual-issue superscalar design with Vertical Multi-Threading (VMT): 50% performance gain on variety of benchmarks in only 20% increase in core area. Highly efficient area and power optimized design.
- Real-time, low latency response for high priority events: Zero cycle context switching, instruction queues per hardware thread, hardware prioritized thread scheduling, and deterministic execution features such as ScratchPad RAM (SPRAM), simple direct-mapped memory access with memory protection provide the foundation for very low latency response in real time systems.
- nanoMIPS™ small code size ISA: Achieves best in class small code size while delivering high performance. When compiling code for performance (-O3 flag, gcc compiler), can provide up to 40% reduction in code size of MIPS32 without sacrificing performance.
- Multi-threaded multi-core processing: Highly scalable and parallel processing platform to the particular requirements for application. The IP core is customer configurable for # of threads per core and # of cores in the cluster during silicon design. And at run-time, standard SMP operating systems (RTOSs or Linux) can utilize threads and cores as current software workload requires.
- Core features optimizable for Linux or RTOS-based software development: Configurable options for features such as memory management, use of caches and/or ScratchPad RAM memories, etc.
Block Diagram of the CPU Designed for the Next Generation of High Performance Wireless Communications and Networking