Wave Computing Launches the MIPS Open Initiative



Wave Computing® has announced that it will open source its MIPS instruction set architecture (ISA) to accelerate the ability for semiconductor companies, developers and universities. The idea is to adopt and innovate using MIPS for next-generation system-on-chip (SoC) designs. Under the MIPS Open program, participants will have full access to the most recent versions of the 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS ISA free of charge – with no licensing or royalty fees.

Over 8.5 billion MIPS-based chips having shipped in thousands of commercial designs to-date.

What Does the Open Sourcing of MIPS Mean for RISC-V and the Rest of Us?


There is no doubt that the rise of RISC-V will be seen as one of the major computing trends of the year. However things got rather interesting yesterday when Wave Computing announced that they were open sourcing the intellectual property behind the MIPS processor. They had just bought rightS for MIPS processor this past June from Imagination Technologies.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wave Computing released the first of its MIPS Open program components. Under the program, participants have full access to the most recent version, R6, of the 32-and-64-bit MIPS architecture free of charge, including extensions such as virtualization, multi-threading, SIMD, DSP and microMIPS code compression. Additionally, registered MIPS Open program participants are licensed under Wave’s existing global patents.

    Wave Computing Releases First MIPS Open Program Components to Accelerate Innovation for Next-Generation System on Chip Designs

    Specific components of the first MIPS Open program release include:

    MIPS ISA – A downloadable copy of the latest R6 version of the MIPS 32-and-64-bit architecture, including extensions such as virtualization, multi-threading, SIMD, DSP and microMIPS code compression;
    MIPS Open Tools – Integrated development environment for embedded real-time operating systems and Linux-based systems for embedded products that enable developers to build, debug and deploy applications on MIPS-based hardware and software platforms;
    MIPS Open Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)– A complete training program for community members that includes:
    Getting Started Package – Provides the MIPS FPGA system as a set of Verilog files, plus an overview and instructions on how to use the MIPS FPGA system;
    Labs – Includes 25 hands-on labs that help developers explore the MIPS architecture and system-level designs;
    SoC Tutorials – Step-by-step direction on how to build a system-on-chip design based on the MIPS Open FPGA using an open source Linux operating system;
    RTL Code for the MIPS microAptiv core – Sample (non-commercial) code enables developers to explore microarchitecture features.

    Additional enhancements and capabilities for the MIPS Open components are planned

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wave Computing uncorked its AI platform, TritonAI 64, that provides 8-to-32-bit integer-based support for high-performance AI inferencing at the edge. It also includes bfloat16 and 32-bit floating point-based support for edge training in the future. Features include a MIPS 64-bit SIMD engine that is integrated with Wave’s dataflow and tensor-based configurable technology. Additional features include access to MIPS IDE as well as a Linux-based TensorFlow programming environment.

    Source: https://semiengineering.com/week-in-review-design-low-power-38/

    Wave Computing Unveils New Licensable 64-Bit AI IP Platform to Enable High-Speed Inferencing and Training in Edge Applications

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wave Computing has announced the immediate closure of the MIPS Open Initiative, a program which provided royalty-free access to the MIPS architecture and cores based around it, less than a year after its launch.

    Wave Computing Closes Its MIPS Open Initiative with Immediate Effect, Zero Warning

    Open ISA project no longer in effect, with existing users given 30 days to square their certification with Wave’s legal team.

    Wave Computing has announced the immediate closure of the MIPS Open Initiative, a programme which provided royalty-free access to the MIPS architecture and cores based around it, less than a year after its launch.

    Now, less than a year after opening the programme and just eight months after releasing its first cores, MIPS Open is officially dead — with, Wave Computing’s legal department warns, immediate effect.

    “Wave Computing, Inc. and its subsidiaries (‘Wave’) regretfully announce the closing of the MIPS Open Initiative (‘MIPS Open’), and hereby give Notice of the same effective November 14, 2019 (‘Effective Date’),” the company’s brief email to registered MIPS Open users reads. “Effective immediately, Wave will no longer be offering free downloads of MIPS Open components, including the MIPS architecture, cores, tools, IDE, simulators, FPGA packages, and/or any software code or computer hardware related thereto, licensed under any of the (i) MIPS Open Architecture License Agreement (ver. 1.0), (ii) MIPS Open Core License Agreement ver. 1.0 For the microAptiv UC Core, (iii) MIPS Open Core License Agreement ver. 1.0 For the microAptiv UP Core, and/or (iv) MIPS Open FPGA License Agreement ver. 1.0

    “While current active licenses and previous downloads of MIPS Open Components, and any certifications related thereto, will continue to be honoured, Wave recommends its developers, partners and customers restrict further development, as Wave will no longer provide maintenance or support for any of the MIPS Open Components licensed under MIPS Open. In addition, Wave is no longer authorising any third-party certifications as of the Effective Date.”

    Thus far, the company has not given a reason for the closure of the MIPS Open Initiative – nor explained why it has opted to do so with immediate effect,

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wave Computing Signs New License Agreement with MediaTek
    Global Fabless Semiconductor Leader is Leveraging Wave Computing’s MIPS Processors to Power System-on-Chip (SoC) Designs for Mobile, Home Entertainment and IoT Devices

    Wave Computing’s MIPS® Processors Power 80% of Today’s ADAS-Enabled Automobiles
    Wave’s Datacenter-to-Edge Strategy Delivers Smart, Safe, Secure & Scalable Artificial Intelligence Solutions for Automotive OEMs and Suppliers Globally

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wave Computing Set to File Chapter 11, With MIPS the Likely Winner

    Rumors are rife this week that Wave Computing, which also has MIPS under its wing, is heading for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At the time of writing, a simple web search for filings of U.S. bankruptcies does not show them listed, so this is not the case – yet.

    However, EE Times has learned through reliable sources that the company is preparing to file for Chapter 11 either by the end of this week or next. Chapter 11 allows for corporate reorganization, so this may or may not be the end of Wave Computing, but we understand that either way, the MIPS business will continue. It was always treated as a business unit within Wave, with intellectual property (IP) and license contracts under MIPS rather than Wave. MIPS is widely understood to have its own revenue stream sufficient to sustain itself.

    Wave’s acquisition of MIPS occurred in two stages. First, in 2017, Tallwood Venture Capital acquired MIPS from Imagination Technologies. MIPS then announced it had “returned to Silicon Valley as an independent company.” It said at the time that the MIPS architecture was used in most advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and emerging autonomous vehicles — this included the Intel Mobileye EyeQ5 system-on-chip (SoC) for computer vision using the I6500 MIPS CPU.

    Now the clever part is that although Wave Computing acquired MIPS with great fanfare only six months later in June 2018, strictly speaking, it appears the IP was still held by MIPS Tech, Inc., in turn directly owned by Tallwood. So when the acquisition was announced, Wave Computing said that MIPS would operate as an IP business unit and continue to license MIPS IP solutions that would integrate Wave’s dataflow technology and target AI acceleration from the data center to the network edge.

    Regardless of the ownership structure, MIPS was effectively a company within Wave, and contracts with customers very likely to be with MIPS. This, we understand, was the same arrangement when MIPS was under Imagination Technologies. Which means all the patents are still held with MIPS.

    In September 2019, it was thought the departure of CEO Art Swift seemed to indicate that MIPS future was in doubt. But in fact, on the contrary, it was the systems business within Wave that was struggling, which meant many of its staff and senior management were let go, leaving mainly the IP business — in others words MIPS — as the core business still remaining.

    Fast forward to today, and the business appears to have a 100-strong workforce, with MIPS being the main focus.

    Based on what we have learned, it’s thought that Wave Computing, and not MIPS, is in decline. The separation of MIPS within Wave means that if Wave files for Chapter 11, as is widely expected within days, MIPS will be free to pursue its business again as an independent entity, under the direction of Banatao.


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