Samsung Electronics president Young Sohn was at the Internet of Things World conference yesterday in San Francisco to introduce a new family of low-power chips designed for the next generation of IoT devices.

One of the new chips presented on stage is called ARTIK 1 and features a MIPS32-based, dual-core application processor, flash storage, a crypto engine and Bluetooth Smart radios for communication.

Samsung ARTIK 1 - MIPS microAptivThe Samsung ARTIK 1 chip is designed for wearable and IoT devices

Delving into the underlying architecture of the CPU cluster, we find two MIPS microAptiv processors: one configured for high-performance workloads and clocked at 250 MHz, and a low-power variant at 80 MHz. The modified diagram below highlights the two MIPS microAptiv CPUs at the heart of the ARTIK 1 chip:

Samsung ARTIK 1 architecture - MIPS microAptivSamsung ARTIK 1 key module components

Here is what the official page from Samsung says about the ARTIK 1 processor:

ARTIK 1 has the world’s smallest form factor (12mm x 12mm) in its class. Aimed especially at power-sensitive devices, ARTIK 1 provides weeks of use on a single charge. Its hardware includes a 9-axis motion sensor with gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer, as well as Bluetooth low energy connectivity. With a feature set tailored for wearables and IoT end nodes, ARTIK 1 is a mobile workhorse.

MIPS microAptiv quick facts

Ticking inside the ARTIK 1 chip, microAptiv is part of the award-winning Aptiv family and implements a five-stage pipeline architecture; here is how the two flavors above differentiate:

  • microAptiv UP features a cache controller and a Memory Management Unit (MMU) for embedded systems that run rich operating systems.
  • microAptiv UC includes a Memory Protection Unit (MPU) for fast execution of real-time operating systems

MIPS microAptivMIPS microAptiv implements a high-performance architecture for embedded applications

Samsung also presented plans for a complete datacenter-to-device software infrastructure designed around security. microAptiv features a secure debug interface which ensures a high level of security, and can provide added hardware-assisted safety for the main application processor.

MIPS microAptiv CPUs are based on an elegant RISC architecture which achieves better performance at lower frequencies and in a smaller area compared to competing solutions. For embedded and microcontroller-type applications, MIPS microAptiv offers class-leading performance: 1.7 DMIPS/MHz and 3.6 CoreMark/MHz.

microAptiv_performancemicroAptiv delivers superior DSP performance

Application developers will also benefit from a significant boost in DSP operations too (e.g. voice processing) since microAptiv offers up to 2.56x higher DSP performance versus the competition.

Finally, microAptiv CPUs support microMIPS, a code compression ISA designed to reduce memory requirements for embedded systems.

Looking to build a next-generation IoT chip?

Samsung isn’t the only company that recognizes the benefits of MIPS for IoT applications. Here are other recent examples of MIPS MCUs being used in embedded systems:

If you’re looking to design next-generation solutions for connected devices, the combination of our MIPS M-class MCUs and Ensigma Whisper RPUs is a perfect fit. Together with our industry-leading FlowCloud software framework for IoT and cloud development, we can provide a full technology IP platform that enables our customers to innovate while delivering superior user experiences and true product differentiation.

Make sure you also follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR, @MIPSguru, @MIPSdev) for the latest news and announcements on sensors and wearables and keep coming back to our blog.


  • Roninja

    According to EE Times Samsung are using an Ineda core, since Samsung have invested in Ineda that is plausible.