Even though MIPS architecture was introduced four years before ARM and commanded around 30% of all RISC microprocessors produced in the late nineties, by now MIPS has lost much of its market share, mostly due to weak roadmap of MIPS Technologies. However, the new owner of the processor designer, Imagination Technologies no only wants to deliver strong offerings, but to capture 25% of CPU IP market in five years.
"I have to stress that the strategy with MIPS is not short term. We see this as a multi-year plan. Our goal is to have 25% of the processor market within five years in terms of design elements,” said Hossein Yassaie, chief executive officer of Imagination Technologies at a press conference, reports Engadget web-site.
In just about seven months since the acquisition of MIPS Technologies the new owner has unveiled a new roadmap, revealed new targets and set up new goals. The recently introduced Warrior microprocessor promises "best-in-class performance and efficiency" in both 32-bit and 64-bit modes, so the company has chances for a turn-around. Given the ambitions of Imagination, it may capture part of the market away from ARM Holdings. Moreover, with more advanced graphics cores it can sustain growth for a long time.
Unfortunately, not everything depends on Imagination Technologies itself as well as MIPS-developed technologies. In order to become a viable option for smartphones and tablets the company will need to ensure maximum software support for MIPS architecture. The primary goal is to gain support from Google’s Android operating system that is set to become the new Windows for mobile and consumer gadgets.
At present Google does support MIPS architecture, but Android NDK [native development kit], which lets developers code with native-code languages like C and C++, has apparently caused some apps to run well on one platform but not so much on the other. Imagination Tech, on the other hand, claims to be well-prepared to prevent such disaster.
"We have put significantly more investment into emulation and working on a technology known as MagicCode, which would emulate any backward compatibility or legacy-related issue. We expect that to resolve to very, very high compatibility; in the same way, for example, an Intel platform has achieved through being adopted by companies like Samsung," said Mr. Yassaie.