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MIPS Wants To Challenge ARM in Phones, Tablets

MIPS, which recently announced its ProAptiv core, stressed that it considers the processor to become a director competitor for ARM's Cortex-A15 chip.

The big advantage of the MIPS32-based ProAptiv is that it is, according to MIPS, only half the size of the Cortex-A15, which could be interesting for very compact product designs. Today, MIPS' chips are primarily used in TVs and set-top boxes as well as some phones and tablets sold in emerging markets.

MIPS recently announced the ProAptiv as a 40 nm and 28 nm single- to quad-core processor, while future versions may include up to six cores. The company said that it expects the chip to scale to 1.51 GHz in mobile applications with a performance of up to 3.5 DMIPS/MHz. According to MIPS, the ProAptiv's performance is comparable to that of "leading IP core alternatives".

MIPS has a long history dating back to 1985, when the company announced the R2000, the industry's first RISC processor, as its first design. In 1992, the company was acquired by SGI, but was spun off in 2000, and therefore avoided SGI's bankruptcy and complete dissolution in 2009. MIPS employs fewer than 150 people today and is much smaller than ARM, which is believed to currently have about 2,000 employees.

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  • "director competitor"?

    More direct competitor, you mean?
    Reply
  • aznshinobi
    Good, I hope MIPS does well. ARM needs some competition from someone other than Intel as well. Their CEO doesn't seem to get yet that Intel can catch up fast.
    Reply
  • boiler1990
    I'm excited. It's good to see start-ups, especially in this field.
    Reply
  • agnickolov
    boiler1990I'm excited. It's good to see start-ups, especially in this field.You should probably read the article more carefully before commenting. MIPS is a 27 year old company, not a startup. Back in the Win NT4 days Microsoft even supported it as one of the many Windows platforms...
    Reply
  • jdog2pt0
    I'm looking forward to this as well. Competition on the same level, across different technologies can only lead to more innovation.
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    agnickolovYou should probably read the article more carefully before commenting. MIPS is a 27 year old company, not a startup. Back in the Win NT4 days Microsoft even supported it as one of the many Windows platforms...
    To be fair, they don't have a preexisting presence in modern smart phone and tablet CPUs.
    Reply
  • digiex
    China's "homegrown" microprocessors use MIPS architecture.

    I still remember the RISC, CISC competition way back then, CISC (INTEL) triumph, Motorola's RISC did not survive... Because of MS/Intel collaboration.

    RISC made a comeback courtesy of ARM.
    Reply
  • zeratul600
    damn a 150 company can make processors??? awesome!!!
    Reply
  • ashinms
    Whatever happened to AMD and Google dukin it out over MIPS? I thought they were in talks to be told again...
    Reply
  • ashinms
    zeratul600damn a 150 company can make processors??? awesome!!!
    There have actually individuals who have built their own simplistic 8bit 2Khz processors out of copper wires and magnetic transistors and then programmed them in their own assembly language. Just Google big mess of wires. I can't remember the second one, but a different guy actally has his own instruction set that he builds processors for other people and hosts his website from one such machine.... Surprising part is they're both married and appear to be pretty normal people
    Reply