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March 3, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

MIPS Technologies Inc has started a program to create a single framework for development tools for the MIPS RISC chip architecture. The Mountain View, California-based company has signed with partners in order to work up a standard framework which different chip design and debugging development modules can be ‘plugged’ into. The intention is to cut development time and costs for MIPS RISC 32-bit and 64-bit developers. Greg Stoner, applications manager for MIPS, says that the concept is to take a layered approach to the development framework. That is, to have proprietary development modules and tools plug into the framework, via a common set of application programming interfaces (APIs). This approach is being supported and worked on by a large number of chip development tool companies such as Metrowerks Inc and Cygnus. Stoner claims that that a unified approach will mean an end to companies using having to use different tools across different computers for different design phases. A single platform will also make it easier for developers to migrate from old style command line design tools to programs that with graphical design interface. The first announcements about a unified design framework will be made in a couple of months. Stoner says that the companies involved in the standardization program are currently deciding between two standards. Meanwhile, MIPS has expanded its Windows CE Development Alliance with the addition of Integrated Device Technologies (IDT), LSI Logic and Quantum Effect Design. The three new licensees join MIPS RISC architecture-based Windows CE design developers such as Toshiba Corp and NEC Corp.

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