2nd September 2014

64-bit MIPS Warrior core launched – highly efficient, scalable core sets a new standard in mainstream 64-bit processing


Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE:
IMG, “Imagination”, “the Group”), a leading multimedia, communications and
processor technology company, has launched the highly-efficient MIPS I-class
I6400 CPU family.

This
is a key strategic development for the Group as this 64-bit MIPS Warrior core
is the first IP core to combine a 64-bit architecture and hardware
virtualization with scalable performance through multi-threading, multi-core
and multi-cluster coherent processing.

MIPS
Warrior I-class processor cores set a new standard for mainstream 64-bit
processing in applications including embedded, mobile, digital consumer,
advanced communications, networking and storage – the broadest set of
applications ever addressed by a single MIPS core family.

Its
extraordinary feature set and performance/power/area leadership will enable
customers to implement a smaller core at the same performance, or a faster core,
in the same area.

Sir Hossein Yassaie, Chief
Executive, commented:

“This
is the MIPS Warrior core that the industry has been waiting for. Customers can now
choose a CPU based on its technical superiority.

“This
new product is more efficient, flexible and scalable than the competition and
its feature set clearly lends itself to the needs of a wide range of next-generation
applications including smartphones and tablets.

“We
know that unique features like multi-threading provide significant advantages
for many applications.  We have already
secured licensees for this new product across multiple markets.

“The
Group is now able to provide MIPS IP cores for everything from microcontrollers
to 64-bit servers, delivering choice across the range and changing the
competitive dynamic in the industry.”

ENQUIRIES:   

Imagination
Technologies Group plc      Tel: 020 7457 2020 (today) / 01923 260 511 (thereafter)

Sir Hossein Yassaie,
CEO

Richard Smith, CFO    

Instinctif Partners      Tel: 020 7457 2020

Adrian Duffield /
Kay Larsen

Note to editors

Inside the I6400 family
of cores

·
Highly efficient,
scalable 64-bit performance:
The I6400 will enable customers to set new
price/performance points across markets. It achieves over 50% higher CoreMark
performance and 30% higher DMIPS compared to leading competitors in its class*.
The I6400 can be implemented across a very wide range of performance, power and
area operating points and achieves high frequencies in aggressive
implementations.

·
Hardware
multi-threading:
The
I6400 features hardware multi-threading technology that supports up to four hardware
threads per core. Imagination’s proven MIPS multi-threading technology leads to
higher utilization and CPU efficiency.  The simultaneous multi-threading (SMT)
technology in the I6400, which builds on the decades of combined multi-threading
expertise in the MIPS and Imagination engineering teams, enables execution of
multiple instructions from multiple threads every clock cycle. Preliminary benchmarking
shows that adding a second thread leads to performance increases of 40-50% on
popular industry benchmarks including SPECint and EEMBC’s CoreMark, with less
than a 10% cluster area increase. Real-world applications such as browsers can
also take significant advantage of multi-threading.

·
Hardware
virtualization:
The
I6400 joins the entire range of MIPS Warrior cores in incorporating hardware
virtualization technology, providing increased security and reliability, and enabling
a unified security and virtualization strategy throughout the system and across
the entire SoC. As implemented in the I6400, this includes support for up to 15
secure/non-secure guests.

·
Next-generation
security:
As
part of Imagination’s unified security strategy, designed to address the
privacy and security needs of evolving and emerging connected applications, the
I6400 core is optimized to support multiple independent security contexts and
multiple independent execution domains. This much enhanced security capability
leverages technology from Imagination and its ecosystem partners and can
encompass other critical components of an SoC. The solution scales to support
secure content delivery, secure payments, identity protection and more across
multiple applications and content sources.

·
Advanced power
management:
With
PowerGearing™ for MIPS, the I6400 features advanced power management
capabilities. This includes the ability to provide a dedicated clock and
voltage level to each core in a heterogeneous cluster, while maintaining
coherency across CPUs so that sleeping cores only need to wake when needed.

·
Efficient FPU: The proven hardware
Floating Point Unit (FPU) in the I6400 supports both single and double
precision capabilities relevant to general computing as well as improved
control systems processing.

·
128-bit SIMD: The I6400 features
128-bit SIMD support, delivering high performance and high throughput for a
wide range of tasks that can exploit the efficiencies of SIMD execution in
data-parallel applications. It is built on the MIPS SIMD architecture which adheres
to true RISC philosophy, with instructions defined to be easily supported
within high-level languages such as C or OpenCL for fast and simple development
of new code, as well as leverage of existing code. The SIMD in the I6400
supports a wide variety of integer (8, 16, 32 and 64-bit) and floating point
(32, 64-bit) data types, making it highly efficient for many applications
across audio, video, vision, and other computationally-intensive use cases.

Next-generation
multicore coherency

The
I6400 features the latest generation of the MIPS Coherency Manager fabric based
on a new multicore coherent interconnect architecture. It supports multicore
configurations of up to six cores per cluster where multiple cores on a single
cluster can have different synthesis targets, and operate at different clock
frequencies and voltages. The Coherency Manager fabric implements numerous
high-performance features including hardware pre-fetching as well as wider
buses and lower latencies compared to previous generations.

Scalable, multi-cluster
coherency

I6400
cores are designed to be delivered in diverse combinations of threads, cores
and clusters, supporting multi-cluster fabric configurations up to 64 clusters.
The cores are also designed to operate in heterogeneous clusters in future SoC
implementations leveraging CPUs, GPUs and other processing elements.

MIPS: the ultimate
64/32-bit architecture

The
new I6400 core family is based on the MIPS Release 6 (r6) architecture,
benefiting from the continuing evolution of the MIPS instruction set. Targeting
next-generation applications, MIPS r6 features new instructions for enhanced
performance on JITs, JavaScript, browsers, PIC (position independent code) for
Android, and today’s larger workloads. As a true superset of the MIPS32
architecture, the MIPS64 architecture doesn’t require separate ISAs, datapaths
or mode switching, eliminating wasted silicon area and power. Future MIPS
Warrior cores will take advantage of the enhanced MIPS r6 architecture and where
appropriate the new generation Coherency Manager fabric.

Broad ecosystem of
support

I6400
customers benefit from the broad ecosystem that already exists around MIPS,
including software, tools and applications and the new prpl open source foundation.
With founders Broadcom, Cavium, Ikanos, Ineda Systems, Ingenic Semiconductor,
Lantiq, PMC, Qualcomm Incorporated and others, prpl is delivering exciting open
source software for MIPS I-class and other Warrior cores with a focus on
markets from IoT to datacenter.

Tools and software

A
broad range of development tools and software is already available or in
development for the I6400 cores, from Imagination and numerous companies across
the MIPS ecosystem. In addition, the I6400 is optimized for the latest 64-bit
and 32-bit mobile operating systems. The forthcoming ‘L’ release of Android includes
support for 64-bit MIPS, building on long-time existing support for the 32-bit
MIPS architecture. Hypervisors in development for the I-class cores will enable
customers to take full advantage of hardware virtualization and enhanced
multi-context security capabilities.

Getting started with
the I6400 core

One
of the first projects completed through the prpl open source foundation is support
for the MIPS64 r6 architecture in the QEMU open source emulator, currently
available at http://github.com/prplfoundation. With
QEMU, developers can get started on developing applications and software for the
64-bit I6400. More information on the QEMU working group in prpl can be found
at http://wiki.prplfoundation.org/wiki/QEMU.

Availability

Imagination
is already engaged with multiple lead I6400 licensing partners, with general
availability scheduled for December 2014. Contact info@imgtec.com for more
information.

*
Imagination benchmark results are preliminary; competitive results are based
publicly available information.

About MIPS
Processors

Imagination’s
family of MIPS CPU IP cores are ideal for products where ultra-low power,
compact silicon area and high levels of integration are required. The
comprehensive portfolio of MIPS processor IP cores range from the smallest cores
for 32-bit MCUs to high-performance 32-bit and 64-bit multi-core solutions. Based on
a heritage of continuous innovations over more than three decades, including
full support for 64-bit for more than 20 years, Imagination’s MIPS architecture
is the industry’s most mature and efficient RISC architecture, delivering the
highest performance and lowest power consumption in a given silicon area.

About prpl

prpl
(pronounced “Purple”) is an open-source, community-driven, collaborative,
non-profit foundation targeting and supporting the MIPS architecture—and open
to others—with a focus on enabling next-generation datacenter-to-device
portable software and virtualized architectures. prpl represents leaders in the
technology industry investing in innovation in efficiency, portability and
compatibility for the good of a broad community of developers, businesses and
consumers. Initial domains targeted by prpl include datacenter, networking
& storage, connected consumer and embedded/IoT. See: www.prplfoundation.org.

About Imagination Technologies

Imagination
is a global technology leader whose products touch the lives of billions of
people across the globe. The company’s broad range of silicon IP (intellectual
property) includes the key processing blocks needed to create the SoCs (Systems
on Chips) that power all mobile, consumer and embedded electronics. Its unique
software IP, infrastructure technologies and system solutions enable its
customers get to market quickly with complete and highly differentiated SoC
platforms. Imagination’s licensees include many of the world’s leading
semiconductor manufacturers, network operators and OEMs/ODMs who are creating
some of the world’s most iconic products. See: www.imgtec.com.

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