CriticalBlue and MIPS Technologies Enable Software Developers to Quantify Benefits of Migrating to MIPS32®-Based Multicore Platforms

New Prism capabilities support MIPS® architectural detail to accelerate users’ 
ability to select, use and deploy most appropriate multicore/multithreaded platform

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — March 31, 2010

CriticalBlue, a pioneer in embedded multicore software analysis, exploration and verification tools, and MIPS Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: MIPS), a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital consumer, home networking, wireless, communications and business applications, announced today enhanced and groundbreaking support for the MIPS32® architecture within CriticalBlue’s Prism product. Software developers will now be able to analyze their existing software applications and quickly assess the tangible benefits of migrating to MIPS32 multithreaded and multicore devices.

This announcement continues the deepening of Prism capabilities to enable leading multicore vendors such as MIPS Technologies to provide an ecosystem to their customers which can clearly demonstrate the differentiation of the MIPS32 architecture in the context of the customers’ own software applications. Prism is an award winning Eclipse-based embedded multicore programming system which allows software engineers to easily assess and realize the full potential of multicore processors without significant changes to their development flow. Prism analyzes the behavior of code running on hardware development boards, virtual machines or simulators. It allows engineers to take their existing sequential code, and before making any changes, explore and analyze opportunities for concurrency. Having identified the optimal parallelization strategies in this way, developers will implement parallel structures, and use Prism again to verify efficient and thread-safe operations.

The new Prism capabilities for the MIPS32 architecture are being developed in two phases. The first phase, available today, is an Instruction level Platform Support Package (PSP) for the MIPS32 architecture. This supports the analysis of software applications running under Linux on either hardware development boards or virtual machines such as QEMU. End users are split in their preference for development boards and simulators for development, and therefore Prism supports both flows. MIPS developers will now be able to trace their existing software applications on a single core platform and then quickly analyze the potential benefits of migrating to a multicore architecture, all in the familiar Eclipse framework.

In the second phase, available at the end of April 2010, a Core level PSP for the MIPS32 architecture will bring an additional level of accuracy to software developers. Going beyond software mapping to multicore hardware, with this release users will be able to quantify the benefit of software migration to hardware multithreading available in certain MIPS cores, such as the MIPS32 34K® and 1004K® families. Users will be able to analyze data cache misses on a thread, function or source line level, resulting in an ability to see the impact of such cache misses on the overall concurrent schedule.  All of this can be done on an existing unmodified software application running on a single core model or development board. The MIPS32 Core PSP is the first Core level PSP to support hardware multithreading impact analysis.

Initial hardware development boards supported by the Prism MIPS32 PSPs are the Ubiquiti RouterStation Pro (MIPS32 24Kc™ core) and the Sigma Vantage 8654 (MIPS32 24KEf™ core). A Prism demonstration will be available in the MIPS Technologies booth, number 2410, at the Embedded Systems Conference and Multicore Expo on April 27-29, 2010 in San Jose, California.

Supporting Quotes:

“MIPS Technologies has produced a very impressive array of multicore and multithreaded cores and platforms,” said David Stewart, CEO, CriticalBlue. “Helping end users to navigate the selection process by putting together an efficient parallelization strategy and a compelling Return on Investment case is precisely the reason that Prism exists. The innovative work we have done with MIPS Technologies to enable them to showcase their unique differentiators has been very satisfying.”

“We are seeing incredible market traction for our multithreaded and multicore products, and we are pleased to be working with CriticalBlue to provide our customers with the ability to evaluate their own software running on these platforms,” said Art Swift, vice president, marketing at MIPS Technologies. “CriticalBlue’s Prism solution is a unique and compelling addition to the MIPS software development ecosystem; one that has the potential to result in faster deployment of MIPS-Based products.”

Key Points:

  • MIPS Technologies is based in Sunnyvale, Calif.
  • CriticalBlue is based in Edinburgh, U.K.
  • This relationship will help speed development of multicore software applications and hence accelerate the time to market of end products based on multicore platforms.
  • Integration with Prism allows MIPS Technologies’ customers to analyze their existing single threaded application code for use in multithreaded and/or multicore platforms.
  • Prism technology is an Eclipse plug-in and is based on dynamic tracing of the users’ software execution.
  • CriticalBlue has developed an innovative capability to estimate the benefit of MIPS32 hardware multithreading on existing software applications.
  • Developers can work in a familiar Eclipse environment using both MIPS and CriticalBlue development tools.
  • A MIPS32 Instruction level PSP for Prism is available today, and a MIPS32 Core PSP will be available the end of April 2010.

About CriticalBlue

CriticalBlue guides software developers through the task of migrating to and optimizing code on multicore platforms through the delivery of innovative and multicore software focused tools, training, and services. The increasing use of complex, multicore processor architectures has accelerated demand for CriticalBlue’s technology and expertise throughout all electronic industry sectors. To learn more, please visit www.criticalblue.com

About MIPS Technologies, Inc

MIPS Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: MIPS) is a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores that power some of the world’s most popular products for the home entertainment, communications, networking and portable multimedia markets. These include broadband devices from Linksys, DTVs and digital consumer devices from Sony, DVD recordable devices from Pioneer, digital set-top boxes from Motorola, network routers from Cisco, 32-bit microcontrollers from Microchip Technology and laser printers from Hewlett-Packard. Founded in 1998, MIPS Technologies is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, with offices worldwide. For more information, contact (408) 530-5000 or visit  www.mips.com

MIPS, MIPS32, 24Kc, 24KEf, 34K, 1004K and MIPS-Based are trademarks or registered trademarks in the United States and other countries of MIPS Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks referred to herein are the property of their respective owners.