NEW YORK Signing Sandeep Vij as its new CEO may turn out to be just what MIPS Technologies needed, as the world's number two processor IP company struggles to steal the spotlight back from ARM -- both in media attention and the industry's mindshare.
| Sandeep Vij|
CEO, MIPS Technologies
When EE Times recently caught up with him on his ninth day at MIPS, Vij was already as natural and enthusiastic a spokesman for MIPS as any experienced CEO could be.
Vij acknowledged that when he was approached to take the helm at MIPS, he was already "quite familiar with MIPS," as its customer and as a student of MIPS architecture.
Prior to joining MIPS, Vij was vice president and general manager of the broadband and consumer division of Cavium Networks, a MIPS architecture licensee.
Vij -- now 44 years old -- studied at Stanford University as a grad student under John Hennessy. Hennessy, now president of Stanford University, co-founded in 1984 MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies, when he was director of the university's Computer Systems Laboratory. Vij remembers the days when "Prof. Hennessy handed out to the class every chapter of his upcoming MIPS book, because the book wasn't finished yet."
Today, Vij speaks of his affinity for MIPS, humbly citing the company's "incredible heritage." He is also fluent in explaining "the elegance, efficiency and simplicity" of MIPS' architecture.
For Vij, life has truly come in full circle.
Do all these connections with MIPS make Vij feel as though he deserves this job? "No," said Vij sternly. "Not until I can make an impact" on the company and on the MIPS community, he said.
Despite the MIPS knowledge he has accumulated over time, there was one thing the new CEO wasn't prepared for: an incredible number of well wishers in the industry pulling for MIPS. Vij said he was "flabbergasted" with so many e-mail, texting and voice messages he received from MIPS customers, since he took the job.
"Team MIPS," said Vij, "is much more than just one company or one building surrounded by four walls, I've found out." By "Team MIPS," Vij means all the companies that use MIPS cores in chips, MIPS architecture licensees, and those who develop tools, platforms and software that run on MIPS.
"They all have tremendous loyalty for MIPS. They all want us to succeed," Vij explained. "When you have that many well wishers, you know you can lean on them."