IDT takes on MIPS licences

MIPs secures a valuable deal to supply one-time maker of x86 processors IDT with 32bit and 64bit cores for embedded chips

MIPS Technologies, the US embedded chip designer, said it has licensed two of its new cores to communications chip maker IDT. IDT is best known for its x86 PC processors -- a market it was forced out of by price wars between Intel and AMD -- and now focuses its efforts on communications equipment for voice, data and wireless networks.

IDT said on Friday it has licensed the MIPS32 and MIPS64 architectures, adding to its earlier agreement to licence the MIPS32 4Kc core. The two companies have a long-standing relationship.

The deal is an important one for MIPs, which faces lower sales in the handheld computer arena in the wake of Microsoft's Pocket PC launch which effectively forced MIPs chips out of that market in favour of chips based on rival ARM technology.

"The scalability, flexibility and compatibility of the MIPS32 and MIPS64 architectures coupled with the breadth of third party tool support available for this industry-standard architecture, enables IDT to efficiently design integrated processors optimised to solve specific system bandwidth bottlenecks for our customers who are developing next-generation enterprise and access equipment," said Phil Bourekas, vice president of the Internetworking Products Division at IDT, in a statement.

Companies like MIPS and ARM Holdings operate by designing efficient chip architectures that can be licensed by manufacturers and incorporated into their own processors. MIPS architectures are used in embedded devices like handheld computers and set-top boxes.

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