Building on the success of the award-winning Aptiv generation of CPU cores, Imagination is now giving a preview of the next generation of MIPS processors. Codenamed ‘Warrior’, the MIPS Series5 CPUs feature cores based on the MIPS32 and MIPS64 instruction set architectures, with a focus on superior performance efficiency across the high-end, mid-range and entry-level/microcontroller CPUs.
Just as the ‘Rogue’ codename for our latest PowerVR Series6 GPU family proved to be a favourite with our ecosystem, we thought we’d give our CPUs a similar naming convention: enter the MIPS Series5 ‘Warrior’ CPU cores, a forthcoming line-up of new MIPS32 and MIPS64 CPU IP cores from Imagination, designed to address a wide range of markets, from mobile and networking to embedded and microcontroller applications.
MSA, a best in class SIMD architecture
Select MIPS Series5 ‘Warrior’ CPUs will benefit from our MIPS SIMD Architecture (MSA), which is specifically designed to accelerate compute-intensive applications with generic compiler support for high-level programming languages and APIs such as C or OpenCL. By adding a software-programmable SIMD solution, these MIPS Series5 CPUs provide flexibility for handling multimedia codecs and functions without having to use DSP-dedicated hardware.
The MIPS SIMD Architecture (MSA) technology adds new instructions to the MIPS architecture that enable efficient parallel processing of vector operations. Our architects developed an elegantly designed SIMD instruction set that is fully featured yet programmer- and compiler-friendly. This is achieved by directly translating most of the gcc SIMD patterns in single MSA instructions, seamlessly mixing scalar and vector data types operations through a rich set of typed data transfer instructions and much more.
We have kept hardware efficiency as a top priority, ensuring that our SIMD implementation is among the best in terms of speed, area, and power consumption.
Introducing our multi-layered security technology
Security has become one of the major topics in today’s connected mobile and embedded devices. Mobile computing is becoming highly-integrated; we envision a world where every platform – no matter if it is a next-generation high-end smartphone, a brand new 4K smart TV, or a connected appliance in your kitchen (yes, our technology is there, too) – should be able to benefit from Imagination’s unique, extensible and highly-scalable security framework for applications including content protection, secure networking protocols and payment services.
Concepts such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), M2M and the Internet of Things enhance consumers’ experiences and work productivity when it comes to their electronic devices, but this widespread connectivity has come with an exponentially increased threat of security compromise.
We have therefore carefully designed a multi-layered security technology for MIPS Series5 ‘Warrior’ CPU IP cores that creates scalable, trusted execution environments for secure mobile and embedded systems.
Hardware-assisted Virtualization (VZ)
Virtualization technologies provide compelling benefits across a wide range of markets, from compute-intensive enterprise environments to energy-efficient mobile platforms. From enabling workload consolidation in datacentre VMs (Virtual Machines) to providing security and content protection on mobile and home entertainment platforms, virtualization has become increasingly important.
MIPS Series5 ‘Warrior’ CPUs introduce both hardware and software virtualization technologies. Our virtualization implementation addresses not just MIPS32 applications processor cores, but extends all the way to ultra-high performance MIPS64 CPUs, where the VZ technology provides a simple and flexible hardware-based virtualization solution incorporated in products from industry leaders such as Broadcom and Cavium.
By providing hardware virtualization for both MIPS32 and MIPS64 CPU IP designs, we believe our processor solutions can efficiently address a broad range of applications without the significant performance impact commonly associated with virtualized platforms.
Bringing multithreading to mobile and embedded with MIPS
In addition to the MSA and VZ technologies, and bringing out core IP based on the MIPS64 architecture, we will continue to develop a multithreaded family of cores in the MIPS Series5 ‘Warrior’ line-up and bring a new level of this technology to Imagination’s MIPS CPU portfolio.
This provides a valuable and highly-differentiated capability in the CPU IP space, and empowers licensees to benefit from the combined advantages of multithreading and multicore in key applications such as networking, while extending Imagination’s leadership in this class of IP.
We hope you are as excited about our new MIPS Series ‘Warrior’ cores as we are. In fact, to celebrate this announcement, Ryan Montrucchio, 3D artist for Caustic, has given the famous Android robot a taste of the new Imagination purple, using our very own Caustic R2500 ray-tracing board and the Visualizer plugin for Autodesk Maya.
Stay tuned to our blog as we reveal more details in the upcoming months and follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR and @MIPSGuru) for the latest news and announcements from Imagination, our partners and licensees.