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February 16, 1999

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS COMBINES DSPs, ASICs IN MIPS DEAL

By CBR Staff Writer

Texas Instruments Inc has gone to MIPS Technologies Inc for processor cores, which it plans to use for its ASIC application specific integrated circuit business. TI becomes the first company to license MIPSÆ currently unreleased 32- and 64-bit cores, codenamed Jade and Opal, which it plans to couple with its digital signal processing technology and sell to makers of digital consumer appliances such as set-top boxes, enterprise and home networking equipment including routers and bridges, and mobile computing products. The 32-bit Jade core is expected to be available in TIÆs 0.18 micron TimeBuilder system level integration library by the end of the first quarter of this year. The 64-bit Opal should follow in the second half of the year, introduced on 0.15 micron process technology. MIPS and TI are also working together to develop technology to help couple TIÆs DSP cores with the MIPS architecture, including software development tools and verification systems that allow faster development of dual processor systems. Both Jade and Opal were designed by Mips to be used by third parties as the basis for custom ASIC chips. Jade is a successor to the R3000 and R4000 families of RISC chips, and will clock at up to 150MHz. Opal inherits features from the R5000. A third core, Ruby, will be made available as an embedded CPU and later as a customizable core. MIPS, now operating independently from parent Silicon Graphics Inc with its own market listing, says it hopes for strong growth opportunities from the deal. Its existing licensees include Broadcom Corp, Integrated Device Technology Inc, LSI Logic Corp, NEC Corp, Philips Semiconductors and Toshiba Corp.

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