Original Document

Silicon Graphics Introduces Compact MIPS® RISC Microprocessor Code For High Performance at a Low Cost

New Reduced Instruction Set Opens MIPS Processors to Large Volume Embedded Applications

October 21, 1996

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Silicon Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: SGI) and its microprocessor technology subsidiary, MIPS Technologies, Inc., today announced MIPS16TM, a new
reduced instruction set implementation that combines MIPS' high performance processing capabilities with a small code size. The result is high performance MIPS RISC processors at substantially reduced system cost because of reduced memory space requirements. MIPS16 offers a 40 percent code size reduction over conventional MIPS embedded code and is fully compatible with standard MIPS 32 and 64-bit instruction set architecture (ISA). MIPS16 is one of several new Application Specific ExtensionsTM introduced by MIPS today.

"MIPS16 presents a critical breakthrough for RISC processors to dominate a large number of high volume embedded applications," said Derek Meyer, worldwide director of marketing and sales for MIPS Technologies. "MIPS processors have been extremely successful in powering performance critical and media-intensive embedded applications. MIPS16 throws open the door to a new world of applications particularly sensitive to memory overhead costs. With MIPS16 , new consumer and embedded products can reduce their costs by up to 15 percent."

MIPS16 puts MIPS processors in a distinctively strong competitive position with incumbent CISC processors that were previously lower in performance but offered smaller code size. With MIPS16, a MIPS processor can have over four times the performance of a Motorola 68xxx (68EC040-40 MHz) at 86 percent of the code size and over 8 times the MIPS per watt. Similarly, MIPS processors can offer over 13 times the performance of an Intel 486SXL--25 MHz at a code size of only 71 percent of Intel embedded code.

MIPS16 offers the choice of a mixed mode 16- or 32-bit instruction length and runs on MIPS 16- 32- or 64-bit processors designed to accommodate it. It supports all MIPS 8-, 16-, 32- and 64-bit datatypes. MIPS16 was co-developed by MIPS and its long-standing semiconductor partner, LSI Logic Corporation, and can be implemented by all MIPS semiconductor partners as part of their MIPS product lines. LSI Logic is introducing its implementation of MIPS16,called the TinyRISCTM microprocessor, at the same time. Initial target applications include cellular phones, personal digital assistants, personal communicators and other consumer appliances or embedded products.

MIPS16 makes the MIPS architecture even more efficient for embedded and interactive consumer applications. Because the MIPS16 code size is smaller than traditional MIPS code and requires less memory space or smaller memory devices, it enables systems requiring less power, making it well suited for portable devices that run on batteries. Currently MIPS' high volume consumer and embedded applications include home video game systems (Nintendo 64TM and Sony® PlayStationTM), satellite television set-top receivers (EchoStar DISHTM Network satellite television digital receiver and others), network computers (Web TV and others) routers (CISCO and others), laser printers and other applications.

MIPS Technologies, Inc. designs and supplies the world's most advanced RIS microprocessor technology. The company tests, certifies and licenses its processor technology to its semiconductor partners which provide processors for the computer system, interactive digital consumer and embedded processing markets. MIPS microprocessors power computer systems from a number of industry leaders, including Siemens Nixdorf AG, Silicon Graphics, Inc., Sony Corporation, Tandem Computers Inc., NEC Corporation, Inc., and others. MIPS Technologies, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Silicon Graphics, Inc. and is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif.

MIPS is a registered trademark and MIPS16 and Application Specific Extensions are trademarks of MIPS Technologies, Inc. Silicon Graphics and the Silicon Graphics logo are registered trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc. TinyRISC is a trademark of LSI Logic Corporation Nintendo64 is a trademark of Nintendo Corporation Sony is a registered trademark and PlayStation is a trademark of Sony Corporation DISH is a trademark of EchoStar Communications