You may ask why we are still writing about MIPS when it's no longer relevant in the mobile world? Well, I get your point; but MIPS still has a lot of places it can go in many markets, according to Imagination. So stay with us; before getting so judgmental, let's hear what Imagination is seeing in MIPS.
The main vendor that I work with that uses MIPS cores is Microchip. In my opinion, they have not offered in this microcontroller space anything that has the breadth of parts and peropherals that are offered in the Cortex M space. It is not until recently that there has been an offering from Microchip that competes with the M4, and there still is not an answer for the M4F. Their 32bit chips have also suffered from lagging peripheral integration as well as much higher cost. All of these things have combined for me to no longer have interest.
Many thanks Junko :), liked you article so much !!
Never say "never" about handset....still, ARM license fees are growing and MIPS for sure could have a nice opportunity in many segments out of handset, doing a fierce competition against ARM. Something could be bored of ARM money requests at some point, so we'll see ! and my best wishes to Imagination.
A little note: the bigger Imagination shareholders are Apple and Intel...very intersting thing he!!
Imgtec seriously lacked adequate sales practices. They sell a piece of IP, and then tell "Here is the driver, whether it works or not is your problem." This cost them many clients. They can't go forward without changing that attitude.
Mipstech did suffer loss of market position due to same issue. They were ready to sell you a "DIY" set of IP blocks. Whether they were working or not together was client's own problem. Arm on the other hand was ready to sell a whole core with excellent documentation at rock bottom prices.
Lantiq is a long time and satisfied customer of MIPS products for Broadband Gateways (Routers).
Lantig's CEO Dan Artusi recently held the keynote speech at the Santa Clara Imagination Summit 2014. In the Keynote Dan Artusi highlighted why Lantiq relies on MIPS cores since the beginning. MIPS has many advantages for Lantiq: Combined with a dedicated Lantiq packet acceleration Engine Lantiq brings highest performance by lowest CPU usage and power consumption. This enables MIPS-based Lantiq processors to deliver a throughput of 0.1 MHz per Mbps. To achieve the same throughput, solutions using competing CPUs need to ramp up to 2MHz per Mbps, leading to a significant increase in power consumption which affects overall system efficiency.
To be more specific: In its latest network processor generation, Lantiq achieves throughput of hundreds of Mbps (330 Mbps in a Computex demo setup of the recently announced Lantiq Intel LTE Gateway Platform) but at the same time offloads the CPU. Another example: At VDSL highspeed routing with throughputs of 50 Mbps, the CPU load stays way below 10% and enables customers to use the free capacity of the core / CPU for other tasks.
Junko, in case you didn't get it, the guy was talking about offloading, ie. the networking performance was not at all due to the CPU. So you could easily swap out the MIPS core for an ARM core without any performance difference. Ie. not at all a great advert for the MIPS architecture!
A clear advantage and unique feature of MIPS is their Hardware Multithreading Architecture – basically this means, the CPU is capable of a kind of multitasking. To go more into detail: When the CPU is in stall cycle in one thread, the other thread can still fulfill computing tasks. The scheduling between multiple hardware threads has been solved very efficiently. This enables us (Lantiq) to make our broadband chips, based on MIPS cores, so efficient with close to 100% of computing capacities. It even enables us to design our hardware to perform real-time computing tasks. That's why Lantiq, a leading supplier of broadband access and home networking technologies, selected and selects MIPS.
Christoph von Schierstädt, Lantiq (using a new account, as the previous seems to have permanent failure; sorry)