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MIPS Technologies Inc. Message Board

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  • theblueredmonk theblueredmonk Sep 21, 2011 12:47 PM Flag

    Why MIPS has advantage over ARMH?

    Below my reply when this was posted on the ARM board
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    I am MSEE who has a good knowledge of microprocessors and 25 years ago even was teaching fundamental of microprocessors in a technical college in Israel. I truly think that MIPS architecture has advantage over ARM and is underestimated by the mobile R&D engineering mangers. The stronger marketing force of ARMH and pressure from large British hedge funds are mainly making ARMH successful against MIPS.
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    You need to go back to school...

    Can you give three architecture advantages that MIPS has over ARM (without cutting and pasting from a MIPS blog)?

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    1) The 4G processors have more Wi-Fi wireless than 3G processors. MIPS is the number one provider of wireless chip designs for Wi-Fi routers and other devices.
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    Almost all known 4G processors are ARM based. Almost all new wi-fi chip sets are ARM based.

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    2)MIPS is the original RISC processor inventor ( by President of Stanford University) and its 578 patents have originality priority over ARM RISC architecture

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    ARM also has a heap of patents...

    Check out the history of the two firms:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reduced_ins...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIPS_archit...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_archite...

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    3) MIPS has 32-bit and 64-bit processors. ARM does not have 64-bit. MIPS has single and multithreaded designs. ARM does not have multithreaded
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    MIPS doesn't have 64-bit processors (it used to). It has a 64 bit ISA that it licences to others who design their own core. MIPS and ARM are both working on their own 64 bit cores. Multithreaded isn't a big deal as you make out as it's only suitable for certain work loads (the MIPS core with a Multithreaded design isn't a big seller).

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    4) A research team at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is developing a cell phone chip that dramatically improves power conservation. The prototype chip is called GreenDroid and uses a MIPS processor and the Android operating system. The UCSD research team chose MIPS over ARM cortex due the POWER superiority of MIPS architecture.
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    You need to read up more about GreenDroid and it's goals:

    http://www.technologyreview.com/computin...

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    5) MIPS has proven superiority over ARM cortex in power consumption and smaller size. MIPS processor M14K reduces development time and time-to-market.
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    So claim MIPS. ARM claim differently.

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    6) According to EE Times article the two mobile processors of ARM and MIPS are dead even in terms of clock frequency. The ARM Cortex-A9MPCore is slightly faster than the MIPS 1074K at the same frequency, but MIPS processor is smaller in silicon area and consumes less power.
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    That article wasn't an apples for apples comparison (assuming we're talking about the same one). Given the same environment, the MIPS 1074K should *outperform* the A9 and not be slower (if it was really slower then MIPS has got big problems). That article also doesn't mention what's included/excluded from the SoC (SIMD, floating point etc) which will make a big difference in power and silicon area.

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    7) MIPS lets SW designer to design their own custom instructions, which ARM doesn’t permit
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    Yes ARM do - if you have an architectural licence (Marvell do this alot).

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