MIPS returns to Silicon Valley

Jan. 9, 2018

Santa Clara, CA. MIPS, provider of the widely used MIPS processor architecture and IP cores, announced it has returned to Silicon Valley as an independent company focused on processor innovations for a new generation of intelligent, connected platforms. With shipments in the billions of units across the globe, MIPS CPUs are found in a range of applications, including set-top boxes and DTV, networking switches and routers, robotics, and IoT. In addition, the company said its devices are gaining momentum in LTE modems and that the MIPS architecture is used in most of today’s advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and is designed into emerging autonomous vehicles.

MIPS said it is continuing its commitment to servicing the industry as a soft-IP supplier with a portfolio of processor cores. MIPS leverages its distinct portfolio to offer hardware multithreading for high compute efficiency, hardware-backed virtualization for software isolation, and policy management combined with functional safety features that are required to support mission-critical high-assurance safety standards. This foundation complements the company’s investments in intelligent applications and enables MIPS to deliver additional value to existing and new customers.

Tallwood Venture Capital, a U.S. venture capital firm with semiconductor expertise and a successful investment track record, led the acquisition of MIPS from Imagination Technologies. Tallwood is joined by Paxion Capital Partners, which focuses on high-growth technology and technology-related companies in need of capital and expertise to scale on a global basis.

“MIPS’ foundational architecture, cores, and IP have enormous potential and align with the innovative technologies that Tallwood seeks in its investments,” said Dado Banatao, Tallwood’s managing partner and chairman of the MIPS board of directors. “As the first commercially available RISC architecture, MIPS played a key role in making computing ubiquitous and in the development of the fabless semiconductor model. We are excited to bring MIPS back to its roots in Silicon Valley and are committed to driving the company forward as it continues to play a key role in the next era of computing.”

Banatao cofounded and is an early investor in many Silicon Valley start-ups that pioneered technologies in the semiconductor industry that continue to be driving technologies in computing and communication applications today, such as PC graphics acceleration architectures, commercial GPS, and networking infrastructure for data center and the cloud.

Since its acquisition by Tallwood and return to Silicon Valley, MIPS has attracted a team of investors and advisors who are key players in the development and evolution of the semiconductor industry in the U.S. In addition to Banatao, Nicholas Brathwaite, founding partner of Riverwood Capital and WRV Capital, will join the board of directors representing Paxion. John Hennessy, former president of Stanford University and an original cofounder of MIPS Computer Systems in 1984, Pradeep Sindhu, founder and chief scientist of Juniper Networks, and Steve Fu, former chief strategy officer of Fairchild Semiconductors, will all serve on MIPS’ Technical Advisory Board.

“With the emergence of AI in applications that will touch all of our lives in ways we can’t yet begin to fathom, this is an incredibly exciting time to see MIPS position themselves in the epicenter of the AI universe,” said Hennessy. “Because of its initial simplicity, efficiency, and extensibility, the MIPS architecture has been able to continuously evolve over the years to incorporate new architectural concepts, providing advantages for an ever-changing range of applications. I believe AI will be no exception. Under Dado’s stewardship, MIPS can grow to become the processing architecture of choice for a new generation of intelligent applications.”

Originally founded in 1984 as MIPS Computer Systems Inc. by researchers from Stanford University, MIPS today is an independent company focused on processing innovations for a new generation of intelligent, connected devices. MIPS designs have shipped in billions of units across the globe and have even reached the outer edges of our solar system. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, with offices worldwide.


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