Over the past year, Imagination has been investing greatly in the MIPS ecosystem to give developers access to industry-leading tools and operating system support for our CPUs. This includes working with Oracle to bring the latest Java SE 8 support to MIPS, expanded Green Hills tools and compiler support for the entire range of MIPS CPUs, and the great work being done through the open source prpl Foundation.
Today I’d like to share some of the latest work we have done and what we plan to complete in the foreseeable future.
New version of Codescape MIPS SDK
Last year we introduced two versions of Codescape MIPS SDK (Essentials and Professional) designed to offer a complete set of tools (compiler, linker, debugger, etc.) for MIPS software development. Today we are releasing an updated version of the SDK that adds support for 64-bit MIPS Release 6 CPUs, including the highly efficient I6400 Warrior core.
You can download the free Codescape MIPS SDK Essentials package from our website; we also provide a getting started guide and precompiled libraries for multiple 32- and 64-bit variants so make sure you check out our dedicated microsite. Moreover, Codescape is the recommended SDK package to accompany the MIPS-flavored open source QEMU simulator from the prpl Foundation.
For ecosystem partners interested in the Codescape MIPS SDK Professional toolkit, please go to this page to register your interest. The Pro version includes the latest Codescape features, including the popular Codescape Debugger, high-speed processor core models and IASim simulators based on a fast engine from Imagination partner Imperas.
Both versions of the Codescape SDK work with many probes available from both Imagination and third parties. Later this month we will release a new family of probes called SysProbes; the first one is called SP55 and supports a wide range of Imagination IP, including Ensigma RPUs and MIPS CPUs (including the 64-bit I6400 core).
SysProbes will be supported by Codescape Debugger and Codescape Console; the console is a powerful low-level command line bring up tool and contains scripting libraries for FPGA implementations or test silicon.
Expanded OS support
The first OS I’d like to talk about is FreeRTOS, a widely used real-time operating system. Previous versions of FreeRTOS already ran on MIPS-based PIC32 MCUs from Microchip Technology; we’ve built on that foundation and added extensive support for recent MIPS cores, including interAptiv and P5600. You can find an updated version here – keep monitoring the website for further updates.
Secondly, we continue to develop MEOS for MIPS for customers looking for a comprehensive solution on medium-sized embedded systems where code size and improved performance are top priorities. MEOS is available today directly from Imagination and runs on a range of platforms, including the Malta development board.
Another recent development is the announcement from the TRON Forum (previously T-Engine Forum) in Japan that the open source T-Kernel 2.0 RTOS for MIPS will be available from the TRON Forum website in July. The RTOS is aimed at small footprint MCUs for IoT applications.
Finally, we have recently begun collaborating with Fedora OS contributor Michal Toman to revive the development effort around the MIPS version of the operating system; Michal is currently testing Fedora on multiple 32- and 64-bit MIPS-based boards, including our Creator CI20 microcomputer; more news on this to come soon.
Fedora is coming to the MIPS architecture
MIPS developer communities
If you’re developer interested in joining the growing MIPS Insider Community, have a look at our forums. Make sure you also check out the exciting new prpl Foundation community focused on open source development at www.prplfoundation.org.