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Friday, August 18, 2017

MIPS wins Mediatek LTE modem chip slot

By Nick Flaherty

MediaTek is using the multi-threaded MIPS I-class processor cores from Imagination Technologies for its latest LTE cellular modem chips. The first device from MediaTek featuring MIPS technology is the new flagship MT6799 Helio X30 processor which uses MIPS in its Cat-10 LTE modem. 

The relationship with MediaTek takes MIPS into high-volume smartphone modems, and demonstrates the performance and efficiency advantages MIPS multi-threading technology can provide in many real-time, power sensitive applications such as LTE, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) as the technology moves  into industrial designs.

The MIPS I-class CPU is a key component of the integrated 4G LTE Advanced modem which features 3x carrier aggregation downstream to support 450Mbit/s data rates and 2x carrier aggregation upstream to support 150Mbit/s. The MIPS multi-threading capability enables the MIPS CPU to do more work every clock cycle. This can be particularly advantageous in balancing power, performance and cost, and can boost real-time responsiveness and performance where multiple latency-sensitive tasks must be handled simultaneously.

“With their powerful multi-threading capability, MIPS CPUs offer a combination of efficiency and high throughput for LTE modems that contributes significantly to system performance,” said TL Lee, general manager of the Wireless Communications division at MediaTek.

While this is a boost in the battle against ARM, it comes against the backdrop of the MIPS division being up for sale, as is the rest of Imagination Technologies, so the new owner of the MIPS technology has yet to be determined.

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