1) Samsung is now MIPS tier-1 user for mobile processors (PIC32 is a mobile processor made by Microchip). There is also processor conference on 10/5/11 that may reveal additional tier-1 users and more good news. See Microchip PR
2) After the recent meltdown from 18 to $4.6 and huge accumulation by funds including Starboard (9.1%), it will be easy for funds to push MIPS quickly 50% up. Market cap is tiny $240M
3)In January 2011 , MIPS unveiled the 10 MIPS-Based mobile devices, including two smart phones and several tablets. MIPS based mobile processors are produced by high volume by Igenic Semi and Actions Semiconductor
4) MIPS-Based Tablets (Cruz and Skytex) can be purchased through major retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart.com and many others. See MIPS website
5) Starboard will force MIPS to produce shareholder value either by takeover or by strategic actions.
6) MIPS claims superiority over ARM cortex in power consumption and smaller size. MIPS processor M14K reduces development time and time-to-market . See MIPS website
7) MIPS is the original RISC processor inventor and its 578 patents have originality priority over ARM RISC architecture . Also MIPS has 32-bit and 64-bit processors. ARM does not have 64-bit processor.
8) MIPS is well positioned in several rapidly growing Mobile & tablet markets. Compared with ARM processors, MIPS generally offers lower footprint, lower power consumption and lower royalty. These are the reasons Chinese government decided to base its supercomputer on MIPS processors.
9) MIPS is very relevant to the current mobile chip set marketplace, because it has a competitive power consumption advantage, it has 3 years experience in the mobile processors and is improving its ecosystem rapidly.
10) The mobile tsunami continues to see very high growth. All major tech savy companies are in a race to get a piece of the mobile pie. MIPS is a prime candidate for a take-over and it only makes sense to acquire this company at less than $1B. According to NYT article , top 4 takeover parties would be ARM, Intel, AMD and Google. MIPS was developed by Stanford President John Hennessy and Hennessey currently sits on Google’s Board . Hennessey maybe involved in a major collaboration with Google as MIPS mobile products become competitive. See article in NTY.com
11) ARM , Intel and AMD was rumored several months ago that is interested in buying MIPS and the rumors makes a lot of business sense because of elimination of competitor. See article in NTY.com
12) EE Times article says 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. MIPS lets designer to design their own custom instructions, which ARM doesn’t permit. See article in EEtimes.com
Starboard says MIPS is "deeply undervalued" .
<< Starboard expressed its belief that the Company's common stock is deeply undervalued and that meaningful opportunities exist to unlock significant value based on actions within the control of management and the Board. Starboard also noted the Company's dismal stock price performance dating back to its IPO in 1998. According to Starboard, this destruction in stockholder value is a direct result of the Company's weak operating performance, deteriorating margins and poor capital allocation decisions around internal investments and poorly executed acquisitions. Starboard urged MIPS to discontinue pursuing acquisitions and instead focus on improving its operating performance and consider allocating capital to buy back shares at the current deeply discounted valuation.>>
Another good reason is the MIPS based supercomputers of China. US government should avoid China to use MIPS architecture for reasons of national security.
<<One of the more interesting applications of the MIPS architecture is its use in massive processor count supercomputers. Silicon Graphics (SGI) refocused its business from desktop graphics workstations to the high-performance computing market in the early 1990s. The success of the company's first foray into server systems, the Challenge series based on the R4400 and R8000, and later R10000, motivated SGI to create a vastly more powerful system. The introduction of the integrated R10000 allowed SGI to produce a system, the Origin 2000, eventually scalable to 1024 CPUs using its NUMAlink cc-NUMA interconnect. The Origin 2000 begat the Origin 3000 series which topped out with the same 1024 maximum CPU count but using the R14000 and R16000 chips up to 700 MHz. Its MIPS based supercomputers were withdrawn in 2005 when SGI made the strategic decision to move to Intel's IA-64 architecture.
A high-performance computing startup called SiCortex, Inc. introduced a massively parallel MIPS based supercomputer in 2007. The machines are based on the MIPS64 architecture and a high performance interconnect using a Kautz graph topology. The system is very power efficient and computationally powerful. The most unique aspect of the system is its multicore processing node which integrates six MIPS64 cores, a crossbar memory controller, interconnect DMA engine, Gigabit Ethernet and PCI Express controllers all on a single chip which consumes only 10 watts of power, yet has a peak floating point performance of 6 GFLOPs. The most powerful configuration, the SC5832, is a single cabinet supercomputer consisting of 972 such node chips for a total of 5832 MIPS64 processor cores and 8.2 teraFLOPS of peak performance.>>
A lot of old reasons.
A better reason is great partnership with Igenic and all its MIPS based processors . Igenic has 350 design engineers and 20 of them with PHD degree. In next 10 years , China and India markets will be more important than declining US market.