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Sandeep Vij, President and CEO of MIPS Technologies

At the just concluded Semico Summit 2011 conference, Sandeep Vij, President and CEO of MIPS Technologies made some very interesting observations regarding Consumer electronics applications and their use of memory resources. We all know that the feature sets and functionality of devices aimed at Consumer applications have been increasing over the last 3-4 years.

This is driven by the requirements of users of these devices for OEMs to deliver ever-increasing amounts of functionality like HD quality video, video downloads, touch screens, multiple HD cameras, personal video conferencing and multiple types of integrated sensors. Future requirements will include, but are not limited to, medical sensors, 100’s if not 1000’s of apps run in the devices, 3D-HD video, etc. These new levels of functionality must be fulfilled by placing higher levels of complexity into these silicon solutions to provide the right feature sets consumers desire.

All this takes an increasing amount of resources to deliver the right user experience. MIPS is the second largest CPU IP vendor next to ARM and is one of the first companies to see what these new levels of functionality demand in terms of the compute and system resources that must be placed into the system.

The message here is that as the demand for compute power increases so to must the resources to service the new performance levels increase. In the case of Consumer devices, this is prompting a move to 64-bit CPU cores geared to deliver much higher performance to meet the much higher levels of complexity in these devices. However, that is not the end of the story since memory is one of the primary system resources that computing power requires to function efficiently.

The reality is now that memory densities must also increase, moving beyond 1GB and approaching 4GB and even 8GB in some cases. This will put added emphasis on embedded memory IP vendors and even discrete memory vendors to reduce power consumption to the lowest possible levels while still providing the right mix of density and performance to the CPU elements in the system.

It is Semico’s view that, even though system OEMs will not like to hear the news that memory densities are going to increase in next generation Consumer devices, it is probably an inescapable conclusion that they must do so if they are to provide the right level of functionality to meet consumer requirements. It is our belief MIPS is very prescient in pointing out this trend and is demonstrating a leadership role in creating solutions to deliver the right mix of compute performance and functionality to meet the challenge of these next generation applications.

Their move to introduce 64-bit, multi-threading and multicore CPU cores is in answer to the market needs that are just emerging and provides ample evidence that MIPS is one of the premier CPU IP companies in the world today.


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