Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th Nov 2012 23:35 UTC
In the News The desktop and laptop world is dominated by x86, the mobile/embedded world by ARM. Conventional wisdom, right? Not really. There's also MIPS - hundreds of millions of embedded devices run on MIPS, and for years now, the architecture has been trying to break into the mobile world dominated so much by ARM. They just a got a boost: MIPS has been acquired by Imagination Tech, most known for its PowerVR graphics chips used in a lot of smartphones and tablets.
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Comment by strim
by strim on Wed 7th Nov 2012 00:09 UTC
strim
Member since:
2008-07-01

Aha, great. Grab the MIPS datasheets while you can...

Reply Score: 10

RE: Comment by strim
by shmerl on Wed 7th Nov 2012 02:11 in reply to "Comment by strim"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Yeah, that what concerns me. PowerVR doesn't sound good.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by strim
by Neolander on Wed 7th Nov 2012 06:44 in reply to "Comment by strim"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Aha, great. Grab the MIPS datasheets while you can...

+1, PowerVR is probably one of the few brands in the semiconductor industry that makes things harder than Qualcomm for OS developers.

Consider the Raspberry Pi story: the team was persistent enough to get a TRM from Qualcomm, of all things, and yet Linux on the RPi still relies on binary blobs for GPU operation...

Edited 2012-11-07 06:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by strim
by moondevil on Wed 7th Nov 2012 07:48 in reply to "RE: Comment by strim"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

This is something work life has taught me about companies and communities.

It doesn't matter if certain software is made open source or if a given company is geek friendly.

This will only exist as long as the main developers or main company is able to stay in business.

If business fails, patent actions happen, or the company gets bought, then it is the end. Period, nothing to do about it.

So in the end we can only enjoy technology, regardless of the owning company, but with a critical consumer voice.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by strim
by Neolander on Wed 7th Nov 2012 07:52 in reply to "RE: Comment by strim"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Big errata: If we are talking PowerVR, Ti SoCs (which traditionally come with extensive documentation of anything but the GPU) would be a better example. Turns out RPi uses a Qualcomm GPU, so that's just Qualcomm being dicks again by purposely giving out incomplete manuals.

Edited 2012-11-07 08:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by strim
by JAlexoid on Wed 7th Nov 2012 09:17 in reply to "RE: Comment by strim"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

RaspberryPI is based on Broadcom's SoC with Broadcom's VideoCore4 GPU. Broadcom is not Qualcomm, though not much better then Qualcomm.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by strim
by zima on Thu 8th Nov 2012 02:55 in reply to "RE: Comment by strim"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Consider the Raspberry Pi story: the team was persistent enough to get a TRM from Qualcomm, of all things, and yet Linux on the RPi still relies on binary blobs for GPU operation...

NVM the Qualcomm/Broadcom mixup - it seems that the design bureau of the Broadcom SoC used in RPi is a stone's throw away from Raspberry Pi HQ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphamosaic
Also, IIRC, one of the ~historical ~heads of RPi works at Broadcom now.

Both were probably important factors in SoC choice (not so much "going Broadcom despite the troubles", more "keeping it close to home")


PS. This news, of Imagination Tech acquiring MIPS, is probably also about "family business" - this time, a bit of a turmoil in the family. After all ARM Ltd. bought, not a long time ago, some Norwegian GFX fellows - That's where ARM Ltd. got Mali GFX cores.
Meanwhile, Imagination Tech was and still is a major provider of GFX cores in ARM ecosystem. So it's ARM Ltd. who kinda threw the gauntlet here?

Edited 2012-11-08 03:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3