Original Document

Silicon Graphics Introduces Enhanced MIPSŪ Architecture to Lead the Interactive Digital Revolution

Future Digital Media Processors Will Enable New World of High-Performance and Low-Cost Interactive Digital Applications

October 21, 1996

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Silicon Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: SGI) and its microprocessor technology subsidiary, MIPS Technologies, Inc., today announced the next-generation instruction set, MIPS V, and new MIPS Digital Media ExtensionsTM (MDMXTM), giving its MIPS RISC processors advanced capabilities for future interactive and immersive digital media products. These extensions enhance the instruction set while retaining compatibility with the existing MIPS I through MIPS IV architecture, an installed base of over 13 million chips. MIPS V and MDMX technology enable fully integrated real-time processing of multiple audio, video, 2D and 3D graphics streams on a single chip.

"MIPS V and MDMX hasten the transition to interactive and immersive digital media worlds and strengthen the overall position of MIPS as the driver for the interactive digital revolution," said Derek Meyer, worldwide director of marketing and sales for MIPS Technologies. "MIPS-based products include industry-leading computer systems from Silicon Graphics and other computer manufacturers as well as multi-million unit interactive digital consumer appliances. No other architecture spans this range."

Drawing upon its relationships with Nintendo, Sony, Philips, NEC, Toshiba, LSI Logic and others, as well as its unique position as the technology subsidiary of the leader in visual computing and interactive digital media, Silicon Graphics, MIPS has tremendous insight into the technology needs and market opportunities for interactive digital media applications. MIPS' approach is to provide a broad, flexible architecture to accommodate diverse and changing needs and not force a singular solution. MIPS and its partners provide technology solutions to computer, consumer and embedded markets. High volume applications include digital video disk (DVD), network computers for the World Wide Web, personal digital assistants (PDAs), desktop editing, videoconferencing, navigation systems, set top boxes and others.

MIPS boosts its interactive digital media processing performance by combining a single instruction multiple data (SIMD) data path with an extended accumulator similar to those used in discrete DSP devices. The architecture can efficiently process multiple streams of audio, video, 2D and 3D graphics in real-time. Individual media types can also be fully integrated into a single, combined type.

The MIPS V instruction set, a superset of all previous MIPS instruction sets, provides complete compatibility with existing MIPS software. A key addition is the introduction of the paired single data type which doubles the performance on floating point compute applications by processing two 32-bit operands in parallel along a 64-bit data path. MIPS V also provides significant performance increases for 3D geometry processing. It can accelerate VRML applications, including those based on Cosmo Open GLTM, and other visual or virtual world environments. MIPS V can be implemented on a variety of future processors from MIPS partners.

MIPS MDMX, one of several MIPS Application Specific ExtensionsTM introduced today, is separate from but compatible with MIPS IV and newer instruction sets. The MDMX code features an extended 192-bit accumulator, giving a MIPS processor true on-chip high performance digital signal processing (DSP) capabilities. The high performance DSP capabilities are important for on-chip real-time video decompression, digital audio surround sound (e.g. Dolby AC-3), and data compression (e.g. fax modem). MIPS MDMX code offers twice the DSP efficiency of other SIMD architectures, better memory performance and more efficient register use.

MIPS Technologies, Inc. designs and supplies the world's most advanced RISC 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 processors also power home video games from Nintendo and Sony, satellite set-top receivers from EchoStar and others, routers from CISCO and many other products. MIPS Technologies, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Silicon Graphics, Inc. and is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif.

MIPS is a registered trademark of MIPS Technologies, Inc. MIPS Digital Media Extensions, MDMX and Application Specific Extensions are trademarks of MIPS Technologies, Inc. Silicon Graphics and the Silicon Graphics logo are registered trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc. Cosmo Open GL is a trademark of Silicon Graphics, Inc.