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ARM, Imagination Technologies Take Over MIPS

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  • #11
    Originally posted by przemoli View Post
    Arent MIPS involved in Chineese efforts to make "West-free" computers? Like in "No-western-OS-from-USA!".

    If IT take over MIPS business they will have to honor that obligations.
    The Loongson processor licenses the MIPS64 ISA, don't think this affects them in anyway. The micro-architecture is of their own design, before they signed the license deal with MIPS. It's also intimately tied to Linux, don't know where this notion of "west-free" came from. The only thing it's free from is probably Intel and AMD. Well, probably not AMD since it licenses AMD's HyperTransport as its system bus and uses AMD 7xx chipset.

    But in the broader context, this probably means the end of the MIPS architecture. With the up-coming 64-bit ARMv8, why would anyone support MIPS anymore? In terms of performance it doesn't match up against Intel/AMD's current offering, in terms of power efficiency it stands no chance against ARM. It basically sits in no man's land.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by Hermit View Post
      But in the broader context, this probably means the end of the MIPS architecture. With the up-coming 64-bit ARMv8, why would anyone support MIPS anymore? In terms of performance it doesn't match up against Intel/AMD's current offering, in terms of power efficiency it stands no chance against ARM. It basically sits in no man's land.

      I hope not. I like MIPS better and think it has better potential in beefy core race against current x86. Main "weapons" of ARM, like conditional instruction execution are non-effective here, if they ever had really effective overall impact.

      I was hoping AMD would go MIPS instead of ARM route...

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      • #13
        This can be GREAT for freedom... what I'm hoping this means, is that imagination tech will now stick together their powervr+mips to make a truly worthless SoC that nobody will ever buy, then imagination will go under and the world will be a better place.

        The way I read this is that all Imagination tech got was MIPS the COMPANY and the patents directly applicable to MIPS the TECHNOLOGY. ARM gets all the patents NOT relevant to MIPS the TECHNOLOGY, plus a license to all patents held by Imagination. That means that ARM is free to implement MIPS the TECHNOLOGY, but just probably can't call it MIPS. In other words, ARM+MIPS = CROWBARm.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by Hermit View Post
          The Loongson processor licenses the MIPS64 ISA, don't think this affects them in anyway. The micro-architecture is of their own design, before they signed the license deal with MIPS. It's also intimately tied to Linux, don't know where this notion of "west-free" came from. The only thing it's free from is probably Intel and AMD. Well, probably not AMD since it licenses AMD's HyperTransport as its system bus and uses AMD 7xx chipset.

          But in the broader context, this probably means the end of the MIPS architecture. With the up-coming 64-bit ARMv8, why would anyone support MIPS anymore? In terms of performance it doesn't match up against Intel/AMD's current offering, in terms of power efficiency it stands no chance against ARM. It basically sits in no man's land.


          Loongson L3C has 2* 512bit(fmac) units for floating point and another same length for integer, per core. That's almost 2* the Intel AVX and like 4* the AMD pseudo-core, with 1/5 of transistor (40million per core). Also has 70% efficiency when you execute for example "qemu wine css.exe". I prefer a single core @2.5ghz L3C on my phone, pared with half to 1 teraflop open source graphics. Its actually possible if you spend 3 million transistors per 512bit fmac vector, 1-1.5 for execution 1.5-2 for cache, see Open Cores.

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          • #15
            While the MIPS architecture isn't too popular with Linux enthusiast.
            Excuse you?

            https://dev.openwrt.org/wiki/platforms

            I see an awefull lot of MIPS there. OpenWRT is not a mainstream DESKTOP distro, no. But a very awesome embedded distro never the less. It's the basis of quite some firmwares out there and even as openwrt runs on plenty of liberated routers. And that'st he distro only. Yes, with mobile phones and tablets ARM made a leap forward, but before ARM there was mips in nearly all routers (focus on older platforms, as newer platforms obviously can't work in an argument 'back in the day') and thus Linux, even in crappy firmwares from vendor's it is Linux-mips that's powering these suckers (yeah yeah also vmworks too ).
            Last edited by oliver; 11-07-2012, 06:20 PM.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by oliver View Post
              Excuse you?

              https://dev.openwrt.org/wiki/platforms

              I see an awefull lot of MIPS there. OpenWRT is not a mainstream DESKTOP distro, no. But a very awesome embedded distro never the less. It's the basis of quite some firmwares out there and even as openwrt runs on plenty of liberated routers. ...
              Yep, my little router has a MIPS chip made by Broadcom, runs Tomato very well. With SAMBA, print server, OpenVPN, not bad for a $20 router. I don't think MIPS will disappear. After all, the MIPS ISA is one of the most widely licensed RISC ISAs out there, with hundreds of licensees using it in everything from routers to set-top boxes to many other embedded devices. But in terms of the major markets of high end desktop/laptops (dominated by Intel/AMD) and mobile devices (dominated by ARM), I just don't see it being able to break into those areas. It will continue to be used in its niche area of embedded devices.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by Hermit View Post
                But in terms of the major markets of high end desktop/laptops (dominated by Intel/AMD) and mobile devices (dominated by ARM), I just don't see it being able to break into those areas. It will continue to be used in its niche area of embedded devices.
                That's hardly a "niche area"; it's a much larger market than the ones you name.

                And Imagination Technologies should certainly be able to design a useful MIPS SoC design for mobile use, although I'm not sure that's what they want. It would make them a competitor for their most important clients (which the clients might not like), but OTOH, ARM has its own GPU core designs too now, and IT is losing market share to them in the mobile GPU core market, so maybe they want to be ready to have their own SoC design if they need to...

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