editor's blog
Subscribe Now

MIPS Gets a New Home

Hey, wanna buy a CPU company? You’re too late, because MIPS Technologies was just sold for $60 million in cash. If that’s more than you have in your pocket, it’s still a tiny sum for a company that helped pioneer the idea of RISC processors. Once the deal goes through, the MIPS processor familiy will belong to Imagination Technologies, the same IP company that offers PowerVR graphics, HelloSoft code, Ensigma network IP, and other doodads for SoC developers. Now MIPS becomes the jewel in Imagination’s crown.

Interestingly, Imagination gets only 82 of MIPS’s collection of 580 patents. The other 498 were bought by a little-known firm called Allied Security Trust (AST). And that part of the sale cost $350 million — almost six times as much as the company itself. Even more interesting, MIPS arch-rival ARM put up about one-third of that purchase price. So ARM now has part-ownership of the bulk of MIPS’s patents.

Not to worry, though. Imagination has perpetual rights to the entire patent portfolio, not just the 82 it bought. And the company will continue to license and market MIPS processor cores, including the newer Aptiv designs. They’ll just be coming from a different company.

It’s no secret that MIPS was having financial trouble and was looking for a buyer. Still, it’s sad to see the company broken up and sold off. MIPS Computer Systems was one of the early RISC pioneers. The company spun off Silicon Graphics as well as MIPS Technologies, for the purpose of licensing its innovative high-performance CPUs. Alas, MIPS never got the kind of traction that ARM got, and it was all downhill from there. Ironically, most of its corporate IP is now in ARM’s hands.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
May 19, 2022
The current challenge in custom/mixed-signal design is to have a fast and silicon-accurate methodology. In this blog series, we are exploring the Custom IC Design Flow and Methodology stages. This... ...
May 19, 2022
Learn about the AI chip design breakthroughs and case studies discussed at SNUG Silicon Valley 2022, including autonomous PPA optimization using DSO.ai. The post Key Highlights from SNUG 2022: AI Is Fast Forwarding Chip Design appeared first on From Silicon To Software....
May 12, 2022
By Shelly Stalnaker Every year, the editors of Elektronik in Germany compile a list of the most interesting and innovative… ...
Apr 29, 2022
What do you do if someone starts waving furiously at you, seemingly delighted to see you, but you fear they are being overenthusiastic?...

featured video

EdgeQ Creates Big Connections with a Small Chip

Sponsored by Cadence Design Systems

Find out how EdgeQ delivered the world’s first 5G base station on a chip using Cadence’s logic simulation, digital implementation, timing and power signoff, synthesis, and physical verification signoff tools.

Click here for more information

featured paper

Intel Agilex FPGAs Deliver Game-Changing Flexibility & Agility for the Data-Centric World

Sponsored by Intel

The new Intel® Agilex™ FPGA is more than the latest programmable logic offering—it brings together revolutionary innovation in multiple areas of Intel technology leadership to create new opportunities to derive value and meaning from this transformation from edge to data center. Want to know more? Start with this white paper.

Click to read more

featured chalk talk

Machine Learning with Microchip

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Microchip

Can you design a machine learning application without a deep knowledge in machine learning? Yes, you can! In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Yann Le Faou from Microchip about a machine learning approach that is low power, includes an expertise in communication and security, and is easy to implement.

Click here for more information about Microchip Technology Machine Learning