Microchip Technology Inc. is licensing the MIPS32 M14K family of cores from MIPS Technologies Inc. to expand on its 32-bit PIC32 microcontroller family, which is currently based on the MIPS32 M4K.
The M14K cores should enable Microchip to further expand its presence in the 32-bit microcontroller market with improved performance and code density which are critical factors in embedded applications. Additionally, the M14K cores provide cost and performance scalability, while maintaining 100% code compatibility with PIC32 MCUs based on the M4K core.
A higher code density in the M14K core family was achieved through MIPS Technologies’ latest microMIPS instruction set architecture (ISA). Executing the microMIPS ISA results in at least a 30 percent code-size reduction with little or no compromise in performance. Additional features of the M14K cores that will be beneficial in the next generation of PIC32 microcontrollers include interrupt-latency improvements and low power consumption.
Sumit Mitra, vice president of Microchip’s High Performance Microcontroller Division claims the microcontroller-specific enhancements to the M14K core were heavily influenced by Microchip’s extensive experience in the embedded market and with the M4K core.
The M14K core has more than 17 licenses. The MIPS32 M14K core and M14Kc core with integrated cache-controller are the first MIPS32-compatible cores that also execute the microMIPS ISA, achieving performance of 1.5 DMIPS/MHz with an advanced level of code compression. The microMIPS ISA maintains 98 percent of MIPS32 performance while reducing code size by at least 30 percent.