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MIPS32 34K Family

Imagination's MIPS32® 34K™ core family is a revolutionary implementation of the MIPS® MT ASE designed to exploit multi-threading in embedded applications. Processing multiple software threads in parallel, 34K cores mask the effect of memory latency to deliver instant 20-40% gains in system performance and cost savings, with a very modest increase in die size. The 34K core family also meets the real-time requirements of embedded applications by giving users the ability to allocate dedicated processing bandwidth to real-time tasks.

Product resources

MIPS32® 34K™ Processor Core Family Software User’s Manual
MIPS32® 34Kc™ Processor Core Datasheet
MIPS32® 34Kf™ Processor Core Datasheet
MIPS® MT Principles of Operation
Programming the MIPS32® 34K™ Core Family

MIPS32 34K Summary

Lower System Costs

Higher application throughput enables several functions to be consolidated onto a single 34K core while preserving existing investments in software.

Design Flexibility

The 34K core can be configured with a maximum of two VPEs and nine TCs for ultimate design flexibility. Depending on the application, the 34K core can implement symmetric multiprocessing across two VPEs. Alternatively, each VPE can run a separate operating system.

Faster Time-to-Market

A rich environment of third-party tools and software supports the 34K core family.

MIPS32 34K Features

MIPS32 Architecture

  • 9-stage pipeline
  • 32-bit address
  • 64-bit data paths to caches and external interface


  • Support for up to 2 VPEs and 9 TCs
  • Policy manager for QoS scheduling
  • Inter-thread communication memory for efficient message and data transfer between TCs


  • 3 additional pairs of Hi/Lo accumulator registers
  • Fractional data types (Q15, Q31)
  • Saturating arithmetic
  • SIMD instructions operate on 2×16b or 4×8b simultaneously

Floating Point Unit (FPU)

  • Floating point version of core available
  • IEEE std 754 compliant, supporting single and double precision calculations
  • Contains 32 64-bit registers for more operations with less load/store overhead

Programmable MMU

  • 16/32/64 dual-entry JTLB per VPE
  • JTLBs are sharable under software control
  • 4-9 entry MT-optimized ITLB; 8-entry DTLB
  • Optional simple fixed mapping translation (FMT) mechanism

Programmable L1 Cache Sizes

  • Individually configurable instruction and data caches, sizes of 0/8/16/32/64KB
  • 4-way set associative
  • Up to nine outstanding loads
  • Write-back and write-through support
  • Cache line locking support

Scratchpad RAM (SPRAM) support

  • Separate RAMs for instruction and data
  • Two 64-bit OCP interfaces for external DMA

Bus Interface Unit (BIU)

  • OCP interface with 32-bit address and 64-bit data
  • OCP interface runs at core/bus clock ratios of 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 5, or 10

Multiply/Divide Unit (MDU)

  • 32×32 multiply with a repeat rate of one per clock cycle

Coprocessor 2 Interface

  • 64-bit interface to a user-designed coprocessor
  • Optional thread support


  • Allows user to define and add instructions to the core at build time

Power Control

  • Minimum frequency: 0 MHz
  • Power-down mode (automatic and program-controlled)
  • Software-controlled clock divider
  • Extensive use of fine-grained clock gating


  • Support for single stepping
  • Instruction address and data address/value breakpoints
  • TAP controller is chainable for multi-CPU debug
  • PC, data address and data value tracing with compression (PDtrace™)

MIPS16e™ Code Compression

  • Reduces memory requirements by as much as 40 percent

MIPS32 34K Specifications

Process40nm G TSMC
Coremark/MHz 2.97
Frequency (MHz)1454 (worst case)
Performance1.6 (DMIPS/MHz)
Core Area (mm2)0.46 Core only, extracted from full layout GDSII database
Power (mW/MHz)0.11 Core only

Note: Frequency, power consumption and size depend upon configuration options, synthesis, silicon vendor, process and cell libraries. The DMIPS score is running on 1 thread only.

MIPS32® 34K® Core - Simplified Overview

TC: Thread Context - represents the user-state of the MIPS32® architecture.
VPE: Virtual Processing Element - represents the OS-only visible state of the MIPS32 architecture.

34Kc™ Core: The base core implementing the MIPS® MT and DSP ASEs.
34Kf™ Core: Adds hardware floating-point support that is fully compliant with the IEEE 754 specification.
34K® Pro Cores: 34Kc Pro and 34Kf Pro cores feature the CorExtend™ capability.

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