Collaborative foundation aims to boost MIPS adoption

The foundation will offer open-source OS distributions for MIPS, including Android, CentOS and Ubuntu

A collaborative, nonprofit foundation has been started by a group of technology companies to boost the adoption of the MIPS processor architecture.

Imagination Technologies, Broadcom, Cavium, Ikanos, Ineda Systems, Ingenic Semiconductor, Lantiq, Nevales Networks, PMC and Qualcomm have founded "prpl," an open-source, community-driven foundation,

Imagination Technologies said Thursday. The company also separately announced that it will collaborate with Oracle to enhance Java for embedded and Internet of Things applications, and to optimize Java for the MIPS CPU architecture.

MIPS implementations are mostly used in embedded systems such as routers and video game consoles, for instance, which could make them particularly useful for the burgeoning Internet of Things market.

Imagination has been pushing to expand the use of MIPS chips since it bought the financially struggling MIPS Technologies in 2012. Currently, more than 3 billion MIPS units have shipped, according to the company.

Each member company will provide its particular expertise to the foundation's engineering groups. For instance, Qualcomm will focus on networking and build a community around OpenWrt, an OS based on the Linux kernel that is often used to route network traffic.

"Instead of every company doing the work individually, they all come together in prpl. They do the work and every company benefits from that work," Imagination spokesman Alexandru Voica said.

Prpl will offer open-source OS distributions for MIPS, including Android, CentOS, Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu, essentially creating a repository for developers and others.

Working together in this way makes sense, said Richard Fichera, vice president and principal analyst of infrastructure and operations at Forrester Research. "As far as I can see, it is an intelligent strategy and program to boost MIPS, which has been under immense pressure from ARM for mobile device market share," he said.

Another focus of the foundation will be on enabling next-generation "data-center-to-device" portable software and virtualized architectures, Imagination said.

That strategy, however, is less to Fichera's liking. "MIPS lost its chance at the core data-center server market," he said, adding that he seriously doubts that anyone will invest in either silicon or systems to have another run at it.

"Any significant investment in a non-x86 server will be centered on ARM or possibly OpenPOWER rather than MIPS. However, MIPS is a perfectly good embedded compute resource, and is appearing in network-edge devices as programmable cores for both embedded network functions and as a user-programmable device," he added.

As for Imagination's collaboration with Oracle, the companies will work to bring broad Java support to 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS architectures for use in a broad range of applications including routers, other networking equipment, mobile devices and the Internet of Things, they said.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags softwarequalcommbroadcomImagination TechnologiesIneda SystemsNevales NetworksLantiqIngenic SemiconductorPMCIkanosCavium

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?