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Imagination Technology Buys MIPS 56

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the gotta-catch-em-all dept.
New submitter HalWasRight writes "After years of struggle, MIPS Technologies — the original RISC processor company — is being sold to Imagination Technologies, best known for its popular mobile GPUs. Part of the deal included MIPS divesting much of its non-processor related patents to a group that includes ARM. This deal could change the landscape in the battle for mobile sockets." MIPS press release, Imagination press release.
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Imagination Technology Buys MIPS

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  • Sad, really (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mog007 (677810) <Mog007 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @11:16AM (#41907759)

    Of all the assembly languages I learned in college, MIPS was by far the best design.

  • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @01:44PM (#41909529) Journal

    Right now there are only three or four architectures that delivers some punch, x86, ARM, Sparc and Itanium. But the last is only alive due to HP and Sparc is kept alive by Oracle so far.

    Among those you missed are Power / PowerPC and
    MIPS.

    MIPS is very-much alive, thanks to China. They're actively developing home-grown MIPS CPUs, and paying license fees to MIPS as well. MIPS CPUs have always had higher DMIPS/MHz than ARM CPUs, and generally compete with PowerPC in the embedded space for anything needing a good bit of performance.

    Cheap MIPS chips in China mean lots of inexpensive products are coming out with MIPS CPUs in them, such as the Alpha 400 and the Novo7

    http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=ALPHA-400 [geeks.com]

    http://www.mobile.slashdot.org/story/11/12/06/0359235/sub-100-android-40-tablet-coming-soon [slashdot.org]

    POWER will be around for a good long time... IBM isn't willing to let their own platform and cash-cow go away, and they've sunk enough money into it to keep it highly competitive. PowerPC will likely be around a good long time as well... Freescale has quite a focus on their PowerPC chips, and their performance is damn respectable.

    SPARC has a bigger customer base than Oracle. Hitachi will probably keep making them no matter what. They've made supercomputers out of them, and they can scale down to embedded applications quite easily.

    Itanium is an interesting case... Everybody but HP who jumped onto Intel's 64-bit CPU has died a painful death (see: SGI). Their proprietary systems all require Itanium CPUs, with no sign of HP-UX, Tru64, OpenVMS, etc., being ported to any other architecture. This even though Intel deperately wants to kill off the architecture. HP has killed off all their proprietary CPU lines, and ported their software to Itantium with immense effort, so I don't see where they can go from here. ARM sure doesn't have the horsepower for high-end servers, and switching to x64 would eat their proprietary hardware margins, and probably make them a joke... SPARC and POWER seem like the only possible options, sort of resurrecting DEC's Alpha CPUs. It would be incredibly ironic.

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