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Monday, March 28, 2011

MIPS to develop multi-threaded 64bit multiprocessor core

“Prodigy” core for Advanced Networking, Storage and Mobile

By Nick Flaherty

MIPS Technologies plans to offer the industry’s first IP core that combines a 64bit processor architecture with simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) technology. The core, the first in a family of cores code named “Prodigy,” will be officially launched later in 2011. By offering the combination of a 64bit architecture, SMT technology and coherent multiprocessing in an off-the-shelf IP core, MIPS is providing the mass market with a fast path to performance, efficiency and scalability for advanced networking, storage, mobile and digital consumer designs.
Unlike ARM, MIPS Technologies has a long history in 64bit processing. The company has licensed its MIPS64 architecture to numerous licensees for a range of embedded markets including advanced networking, storage and servers, where applications can benefit from the larger address space and increased data processing capability of a 64bit architecture. MIPS Technologies also has an extensive history in multi-threading technology. Multiple MIPS licensees have reported significant increases in performance as well as overall system efficiency with MIPS-Based multi-threaded processors. SMT promises even higher gains in performance and efficiency through the ability to execute multiple instructions from multiple threads every clock cycle.
“With MIPS Technologies’ deep expertise and tradition in both multi-threading and 64bit processing, this is a natural next step,” said Joseph Byrne, an analyst at The Linley Group and author of A Guide to CPU Cores and Processor IP. “As applications become more complicated and require more memory, there is a basic limitation of accessing memory with 32bit addresses. That limit is becoming a barrier. Ultimately it will be necessary for many embedded applications to move to 64bit architectures because of the practically unlimited address space they allow. The time is right for MIPS to introduce this product to the market, because the next generation of advanced communications and networking products will need this headroom.”
“With our forthcoming core, our customers can now quickly and easily develop MIPS64 solutions at a fraction of the cost and time it would take to develop a 64bit core themselves,” said Art Swift, vice president of marketing and business development, MIPS Technologies. “We’re pleased to offer this solution, for which we are seeing increasing demand. Our customers can leverage not only the advanced 64bit Prodigy IP core, but they will also benefit from the surrounding infrastructure and broad, mature ecosystem that are already in place for the MIPS64 architecture as well as multiprocessing and multi-threading on MIPS.”
The Prodigy core family will offer seamless code compatibility and an elegant upward migration path between the MIPS32 and MIPS64 architectures.
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