MIPS CPUs have a long track record of success and proven design wins in home entertainment and networking systems. For the past two decades, our licensees have been using both the MIPS32 and MIPS64 architectures to create innovative networking infrastructure and consumer electronics products that continue to enhance the way we enjoy digital content.

Thanks to the our efficient, highly scalable CPU architecture, our customers can quickly adopt or develop new connectivity standards that offer better network speeds, higher AV quality and improved performance.

HDBaseT, a new technology for uncompressed 4K transmission

One of these standards is HDBaseT, a new technology that is quickly becoming a globally accepted format for advanced digital media distribution.

HDBaseT is a new networking protocol designed to send large amounts of audio, video, and data over short- and medium-range distances using simple Cat 5 Ethernet cables. The HDBaseT Alliance is promoting this new transmission protocol as a more flexible, affordable and reliable alternative to HDMI or other existing solutions. HDBaseT is ideal for carrying video of up to 4K resolution, audio, data (100BaseT Ethernet), power (up to 100 watts), and even other signals like USB over Cat 5e cables.

More recently, HDBaseT 2.0 was released, adding USB 2.0 support and providing a more intuitive, user-friendly and lower cost interface for consumers to build a complete home entertainment and multimedia center.

Valens HDBaseT applications  HDBaseT chips suit the needs of many consumer electronics applications

HDBaseT can cover a range of 100 metres (with the possibility of extending it farther through passive repeaters); it should also solve the issues of transmitting 4K video using complex HDMI solutions.

Introducing Valens, the latest MIPS licensee for the connected home

Valens is a founding member of the HDBaseT Alliance and an active promoter of the HDBaseT standard. The Israel-based company designs semiconductor products for the distribution of uncompressed high-definition (HD) multimedia content. It has already established long-term partnerships with companies such as Belkin, Epson, Hitachi, NEC, Panasonic, Pioneer and many others to provide chipsets that deliver an all-in-one solution for transferring multimedia content, Internet, power and control signals over longer distances, with high reliability and low infrastructure costs.

Valens HDBaseT partners

Founding members of the HDBaseT Alliance

The new MIPS-based product family from Valens will offer significant value to the entire entertainment ecosystem, including CE/PC equipment manufacturers, audio/video connectivity product suppliers, CCTV manufacturers, systems integrators, retailers, installers and consumers.

By using MIPS-based Valens semiconductor products, consumers and enterprise users will have access to a robust HD ecosystem that is easy to install, delivers better performance compared to previous solutions and comes at very low cost.

MIPS multithreading in home entertainment and networking applications

One of the key advantages of our MIPS architecture is the ability to deliver multithreading (MT) technologies that offer performance benefits for a number of use cases. We have implemented multithreading in several of our 32-bit CPU IP cores which have found application in networking, baseband, home entertainment and a range of other platforms.  Imagination Technologies is committed to delivering this technology in select MIPS Series5 ‘Warrior’ CPUs – the next generation range of MIPS cores.

Our architectural licensees also use multithreading in 32-bit and 64-bit high performance processors for consumer products, home and enterprise networking, supercomputers and other applications.

Multithreading has been proven to deliver better performance, power and area efficiency for numerous applications. From initial benchmarking data collected in Linux, we have shown that MIPS multithreading cores deliver significant performance for optimized LTE baseband stack. Commercial LTE UE stack hardware shows 37-53% throughput gain with MT, reaching peak performance for voice and video data transmission.

The updated EEMBC CoreMark score for the single-core interAptiv with two VPEs (Virtual Processing Element) is 3.54 CoreMark/MHz, an important gain over single-core competing solutions that target similar markets.

MIPS interAptiv vs competing cores (CoreMark result)

On top of this, our MT technology allows our partners to achieve better real-time response and QoS via a built-in hardware scheduler and yield qualifier.

We are excited to welcome Valens to the large community of MIPS partners, and can’t wait to see their new MIPS-based HDBaseT product family, that is sure to deliver great benefits through the power of multithreading.

For more information on our MIPS CPUs and future updates on our MIPS architecture and roadmap, follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR and @MIPSGuru) and keep coming back to our blog.

About the author: Alex Voica

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Before deciding to pursue his dream of working in technology marketing, Alexandru held various engineering roles at leading semiconductor companies in Europe. His background also includes research in computer graphics and VR at the School of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna in Pisa. You can follow him on Twitter @alexvoica.

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