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MIPS cores offer high performance with DSP functionality

Posted: 23 May 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mips? core? dsp? microarchitecture?

MIPS Technologies Inc. introduced the MIPS32(R) 24KE(TM) family of cores, the first to integrate the MIPS(R) DSP Application-Specific Extension (ASE) announced last year. The 24KE core family leverages the high performance 24K(TM) microarchitecture and efficiently adds DSP functionality while significantly reducing overall SoC die area, cost, and power consumption.

Traditionally, many SoCs have utilized a RISC CPU core for the operating system and a separate DSP core for signal processing functions. Now, with the performance range of 400MHz to 625MHz (in 0.13 micron process) and the DSP functionality of the 24KE core family, the need for a separate DSP core is eliminated, decreasing total SoC die area and simplifying system and software complexity. With the 24KE cores, DSP performance is improved up to 200 percent over a range of embedded applications from voice to video, compared to RISC implementations without the DSP ASE.

The 24KE cores will be supported by a complete suite of software development tools, the MIPS DSP Library, and a third party DSP applications network.

"The market for programmable DSP chips reached the $7.8 billion mark in 2004, up some 27% over 2003, and we predict continued growth over that level for 2005," said Will Strauss, president, Forward Concepts. "The larger market -- approximately $10.4 billion -- is actually for embedded DSPs, and that is a market in which more than 100 chip vendors participate. With the introduction of the 24KE cores, both segments represent major market opportunities for MIPS Technologies."

The introduction of the 24KE cores reinforces MIPS Technologies' position as the premier provider of the industry's highest performance licensable synthesizable cores and builds on the momentum of the rapid adoption of the 24K(R) core family. Since it was launched over a year ago, the 24K core family has been licensed over 18 times by OEM and semiconductor companies including Atheros, KME, LSI Logic, Micronas, PMC-Sierra, RealTek, Scientific-Atlantic, and TZero.

Target Markets and Applications

Target markets for the 24KE cores include set-top boxes, DTVs, DVD recorders, voice switches, IP phones, digital cameras, printers, modems, residential gateways and automotive telematics. Typical applications enhanced by the 24KE cores include voice and speech processing, narrowband, broadband, digital audio, graphics, video, and imaging.

In a VoIP application, for example, the 24KE core eliminates the need for a separate DSP core, which may require a license fee, royalties and dedicated resources. Early access licensees of the 24KE core have already realized the power of this value proposition.

"DVD recorders, digital cameras, residential gateways and VoIP phones are just a few of the consumer products that require the increased signal and media processing horsepower the 24KE cores provide," said Russ Bell, vice president of marketing at MIPS Technologies. "Because the 24KE core family can eliminate unnecessary hardware and tool chains and reduce DSP royalty payments, it's the smart choice for companies competing in today's cost-sensitive, high-volume consumer electronics market."

  • MIPS32 24KEc Core Product Specifications(1)

  • Process: 0.13 micron

  • Frequency: 400-625 MHz, worst case

  • Performance: 576-900 DMIPS @ 1.44 DMIPS/MHz

  • 800-1250 16-bit MMACs

  • Core Size: 3.0 mm2 (not including caches)

  • Power Consumption: 0.58 mW/MHz @ 1.2V (not including caches)

Early access versions of the 24KE are available to key customers now. General availability is scheduled for Q3 CY'05.

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