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Imagination seeks to resurrect MIPS in the spotlight

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MIPS? Imagination? processor? ARM?

The company also encourages a variety of business models, under which some chip vendors might just license individual IP blocks or opt for sub-system IPs. Vendors can take Imagination's platform offering. Some companies even ask Imagination to develop a complete SoC, in which case Imagination, through another outfit, does the job and gives a net list to its customer.

MIPS performance (CoreMark/MHz)

From a high-end processor like MIPS P5600 to a mid-range CPU such as MIPS InterAptive CPU and a microcontroller CPU like MIPS M51, Imagination boasts that each MIPS core consistently scores higher CoreMark/MHz across the board, when each CPU is compared to its competitors' equivalent offerings. (These are "apple-to-apple" comparisons, according to Imagination, as it compares each at the same process node, the same L1/L2 cache, etc.)

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Source: Imagination Technologies

As you can see in the bar graph above, the difference in performance is about 10 per cent at the same frequency between MIPS's P5600 vs. ARM's apps processor CPU. Where MIPS sets itself apart further is in its performance in power consumption (CoreMark/mW) and area (CoreMark/mm2), according to Imagination.

MIPS power (CoreMark/mW) and area (CoreMark/mm2)

Take the example of MIPS P5600 CPU intended for high-end apps processors in the mobile market.

MIPS P5600 CPU performance at CoreMark/mW is at least 50 per cent lower than that of competitors', thus allowing Imagination to make the case for MIPS lower power performance advantage. The bottom line: "You don't need to overclock CPUthus running it hotin order to achieve the same performance at the same frequency," said an Imagination spokesman.

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Source: Imagination Technologies

When it comes to the CPU area (see below), a cluster of MIPS P5600 CPUs uses 30 per cent less area than that of a cluster of a competitor's CPUs, according to Imagination.

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Source: Imagination Technologies


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