MIPS' silicon footprint suits inexpensive LTE design

4th March 2015
Posted By : Barney Scott
MIPS' silicon footprint suits inexpensive LTE design

Imagination Technologies and Altair Semiconductor have reported growing market traction for Altair’s LTE chipsets that utilise MIPS CPUs to support tablets, mobile hotspots, routers and M2M devices. Altair’s LTE devices, including the FourGee-3100/6200 chipset, have been the communications engine inside millions of devices sold by over 30 connected device manufacturers to date.

Altair’s chipsets with MIPS CPUs inside are designed to support a range of applications, and are deployed commercially on LTE networks around the world. Altair's MIPS-based products include the Verizon Ellipsis 7 tablet, available exclusively from Verizon for its 4G LTE network, the HP 11” and ASUS 13.3” LTE Chromebooks and the D-Link LTE eMBMS-enabled HDMI dongle, the first such product that is compatible with a leading U.S. carrier’s 4G LTE network. First International Computer's (FIC) Elija TF9300 9.7” Android tablet, a 3.5GHz LTE-enabled tablet, also uses MIPS, as do SoftBank BB devices used for its wireless Internet service in Japan.

In addition, the FourGee-3800/6300 Category 4 chipset, the successor of the Category 3 FourGee-3100/6200 chipset, recently achieved Verizon Wireless chipset certification. The 3800/6300 chipset features download speeds of 150Mb/s and upload speeds of 50Mb/s, and supports advanced features such as VoLTE and eMBMS. It is already designed into multiple modules and end-user devices and is deployed commercially in leading carrier markets.

Altair’s chipsets leverage multiple MIPS CPUs controlling various functions, including the network processor subsystems. The multi-threading capability in the MIPS CPUs can be a particularly advantageous in balancing cost, performance and power, and can boost performance where multiple latency-sensitive tasks must be handled simultaneously.

Eran Eshed, Co-Founder and Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, Altair, said: “MIPS CPUs are a key component of our FourGee LTE chipsets. The small silicon area of MIPS is key for highly cost-sensitive applications such as LTE, and its efficiency means we can achieve the highest levels of performance in the smallest silicon area and with the lowest power consumption. Imagination is a key partner for Altair to ensure the best possible solutions for next-gen LTE devices for mobile devices, IoT applications and beyond.”

“MIPS CPUs are an ideal fit for LTE chipsets, and MIPS multi-threading technology offers a compelling value proposition for these devices,” added Tony King-Smith, Executive Vice President of Marketing, ImgTec. “We are delighted that Altair recognises this. The market clearly acknowledges the value of LTE-only devices, and we are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with Altair as they continue to drive the MIPS architecture into a generation of exciting LTE enabled products.”

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