Imagination Reveals First MIPS 'Warrior P-Class' CPU Core

Imagination Reveals First MIPS 'Warrior P-Class' CPU Core

Featuring 128-Bit SIMD and Hardware Virtualization With Industry-Leading
32-Bit Performance in 30% Smaller Area Than Competition

LONDON, Oct. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Imagination Technologies (IMG.L), a
leading multimedia, processor, communications and cloud technologies company,
announces the first MIPS Series5 'Warrior P-class' CPU, representing a major
step forward in feature set for high-performance MIPS CPU IP cores. The new
MIPS P5600 core delivers industry-leading 32-bit performance together with
class-leading low power characteristics in a silicon footprint up to 30%
smaller than comparable CPU cores, making it ideal for a wide range of mobile,
consumer and embedded applications.

The MIPS P5600 incorporates key features needed for today's leading-edge
processors, which demand advanced features such as support for multiple
security contexts, large address spaces and advanced SIMD processing:

  *Full 128-bit SIMD designed for high performance on data parallel
    operations such as DSP, imaging and media
  *Simple, flexible and complete hardware virtualization
  *Next-generation security to address modern media delivery requirements
  *Support for up to six cores per cluster with high-performance cache
    coherency
  *Advanced addressing:

    *Enhanced Virtual Addressing (EVA) enables more flexible usage of virtual
      address space, allowing for easy and efficient use of memory for larger
      footprint Linux implementations
    *Extended Physical Addressing (XPA) allows a 32-bit system to access
      physical memory beyond the 32-bit limit, up to 1 Terabyte (40-bits)

Building on this first important milestone in the new MIPS Series5 era, the
MIPS 'Warrior' family of CPUs will expand over the next 12 months to comprise
a compelling portfolio of 64-bit and 32-bit variants, each delivering
best-in-class performance, and benefiting from the unrivalled MIPS
architecture that enables seamless migration from 32-bit to 64-bit solutions.

Says Tom R. Halfhill, a senior analyst with The Linley Group and a senior
editor of Microprocessor Report: "As the first new MIPS core introduced since
the acquisition of MIPS Technologies, the MIPS P5600 shows that Imagination
Technologies is pushing the historic MIPS architecture forward. It's the first
MIPS core to implement the MIPS Release 5 ISA, which includes important
features like the MIPS SIMD Architecture and virtualization. We're looking
forward to seeing the rest of the MIPS Warrior family rolled out over the next
year."

With the P5600, Imagination is offering a compelling CPU suitable for a broad
range of products targeting a balance of high-performance processing with
small silicon area and excellent low power credentials. The P5600 supports
multicore configurations of up to six cores per cluster with high-performance
cache coherency, hardware virtualization, 128-bit SIMD, plus significant
microarchitecture optimizations for maximizing SoC system performance. The
P5600 is ideal for SoCs targeting next-generation mobile phones and tablets,
connected consumer products such as set-top boxes, DTVs and multiroom
multi-channel audio systems, home and office networking and micro-servers.

Tony King-Smith, EVP marketing, Imagination, says: "We are proud to announce
this first MIPS 'Warrior P-class' CPU. This is about much more than the
arrival of yet another CPU IP core. This is the start of something much bigger
– the rollout of a comprehensive family of next-generation CPUs that will
change the CPU IP landscape forever. As we continue to roll out MIPS Series5
products to address the applications spectrum from entry-level to the
high-end, we will provide levels of performance, efficiency and functionality
that surpass other offerings in the market. Many more Warriors are coming!"

MIPS P5600 by the numbers:

  *Achieves industry-leading high-end CPU IP performance exceeding 5
    CoreMark/MHz with 3.5 DMIPS/MHz*
  *Provides 1.2x – 2x performance gains on a wide variety of system-oriented
    benchmarks, including SPECint2000, Linpack, and Javascript/Browser tests,
    and 2x – 3x higher data movement on widely-used routines such as MemCopy
    libraries*
  *Silicon footprint up to 30% smaller than competing IP cores**
  *Can implement to a very wide range of performance, power and area
    footprints spanning 1GHz to above 2GHz***

Hardware virtualization: system reliability, scalability and robustness

The P5600 cores are the first MIPS CPU IP cores to include highly-optimized
hardware virtualization as defined in the MIPS r5 architecture announced
December 2012. The industry already uses virtualization technology extensively
in applications for servers, automotive and other products requiring the use
of multiple secure and isolated operating systems. Imagination is taking this
concept to the next level, leveraging virtualization as the foundation for a
growing number of applications demanding robustness, support for multiple
security contexts and more. Starting with the P5600, MIPS Series5 cores
embrace hardware virtualization from the entry level to the high end, with
simple, flexible and complete virtualization across the MIPS Series5 range.

Next generation security

In a fully connected world with modern media delivery requirements, security
needs have outgrown traditional methodologies. The P5600 core is optimized to
support multiple security contexts, leveraging technology from Imagination and
ecosystem partners for mobile, connected consumer, IoT and other segments. The
platform scales to support secure content delivery, secure payments, identity
protection and more across multiple applications and content sources.

128-bit SIMD: higher data-parallel system performance

The P5600 is the first MIPS CPU core to feature full 128-bit SIMD support,
delivering the highest performance for a wide range of tasks that can exploit
the efficiencies of SIMD execution in data-parallel applications such as audio
codecs, image processing, DSP, low-level simple 2D graphics and other
media-rich applications. The SIMD engine used in the P5600 supports a wide
variety of data types from 8-bit integer up to native double precision
floating point operations.

The MIPS SIMD architecture adheres to true RISC philosophy, starting with
thirty-two 128-bit architectural registers. Instructions were defined to be
easily supported within high-level languages such as C or OpenCL for fast and
simple development of new code, as well as leverage of existing code. The
hardware-efficient, compiler-friendly implementation of the SIMD in the P5600
is perfectly aligned with the industry's shift toward code portability using
JITs and other forms of dynamic compilers.

Extensive optimizations throughout

With the P5600, Imagination has also implemented a range of performance
enhancing features compared to earlier generations of MIPS cores, including
widened datapaths and buses, increased L2 cache prefetching, enhanced
load/store bonding, and optimizations for JIT and browser applications.

In addition, the P5600 incorporates Enhanced Virtual Address (EVA) and
Extended Physical Address (XPA) features that enable scalability to future
generations of products. EVA enhances the effective use of the virtual memory
space in the P5600, allowing both user and kernel space to access more than
3GB of space each without the need for HIGHMEM support in Linux. XPA extends
the physical addressing capabilities of the P5600 up to 1 Terabyte. In
combination with hardware virtualization, EVA and XPA extend the usability of
the P5600 well beyond other 32-bit CPUs.

MIPS: the ultimate 64/32-bit architecture

The MIPS architecture enables binary compatibility across the range of Series5
Warrior CPUs, delivering superior performance and efficiency from
entry-level/microcontroller CPUs up to high-end performance-driven networking
systems. MIPS Series5 cores share a common datapath for execution of all
32-bit and 64-bit code, ensuring that 32-bit binaries for any 'Warrior' CPU
will run without change on any 64-bit 'Warrior' CPU. MIPS Series5 64-bit CPUs
do not need any separate datapaths to run legacy 32-bit applications,
eliminating wasted silicon area and power when migrating to 64-bit.

Complementing the true instruction set compatibility of MIPS, a consistent and
comprehensive toolchain across 'Warrior' CPUs enables fast, easy development
and debugging. Imagination is undertaking an extensive program of toolchain
development, including state-of-the-art gcc and proprietary compilers, as well
as significant enhancements to Imagination's popular Codescape debuggers,
resulting in not only a choice of toolchains to suit every developer
environment, but also growing support for heterogeneous debugging.

Availability

The P5600 will be available for licensing this quarter. When MIPS IP cores are
combined with Imagination's broad portfolio of other IP cores including
PowerVR graphics and video, Ensigma radio communications, FlowCloud IP and
more, Imagination's customers have a complete solution for their connected
SoCs.

Presentation at Linley Tech Processor Conference

Imagination's director of processor technology marketing Mark Throndson will
present technical details about the MIPS P5600 CPU family at the 2013 Linley
Tech Processor Conference in Santa Clara, California. Mr. Throndson's
presentation, "Enter the Warrior," will take place at 10:55 a.m. Pacific on
Thursday, 17^th October. For more information and to register, visit
www.linleygroup.com.

About MIPS processors

Imagination's family of MIPS processors are ideal for products where ultra
low-power, compact silicon area and a high level of integration are required.
MIPS processor IP cores and architectures range from tiny 32-bit
microcontrollers to 32-bit and 64-bit multi-core solutions for advanced
application and network processing platforms.

Based on a heritage built and continuously innovated over more than three
decades, Imagination's MIPS architecture is the industry's most efficient RISC
architecture, delivering the best performance and lowest power consumption in
a given silicon area. SoC designers can use this efficiency advantage for
significant cost and power savings, or to implement additional cores to
deliver a performance advantage in the same power, thermal and area budget.

The CPU IP cores comprising the MIPS Series5 'Warrior' family will come in
three classes of performance and features:

  *'Warrior M-class': entry-level MIPS cores for embedded and microcontroller
    applications, a progression from the popular microAptiv family
  *'Warrior I-class': mid-range, feature-rich MIPS CPUs following on from the
    highly-efficient interAptiv family
  *'Warrior P-class': high-performance MIPS processors building on the
    award-winning proAptiv family

Editor's Notes

* Performance metrics based on preliminary P5600 core RTL as well as proAptiv
core using gcc 4.9.0 compiler; comparisons based on publicly available
information from ARM, CoreMark scores from EEMBC CoreMark website, and
material available on the Internet

** Comparison based on publicly available information from Samsung's ISSCC
presentation on its Exynos 5 Octa

*** TSMC 28nm process

About Imagination Technologies

Imagination Technologies - a global leader in multimedia, processor,
communication and cloud technologies - creates and licenses market-leading
processor solutions including graphics, video, vision, CPU and embedded
processing, multi-standard communications, cross-platform V.VoIP and VoLTE and
cloud connectivity. These silicon and software intellectual property (IP)
solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by an extensive portfolio
of software, tools and ecosystems. Target markets include mobile phone,
connected home consumer, mobile and tablet computing, in-car electronics,
networking, telecoms, health, smart energy and connected sensors.
Imagination's licensees include many of the world's leading semiconductor
manufacturers, network operators and OEM/ODMs. Corporate headquarters are
located in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See:
www.imgtec.com.

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CONTACT: Imagination Technologies' Press Contacts:

         UK: David Harold 
         david.harold@imgtec.com  
         +44 (0)1923 260 511

         USA: Jen Bernier-Santarini
         jen.bernier@imgtec.com 
         +1 408-530-5178

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