Here’s some interesting technology news that sits outside of our usual purview. Imagination Technologies have just announced their latest MIPS CPU, the MIPS Warrior I-class I6500 heterogeneous CPU. The I6500 is designed specifically to be used as part of a multi-cluster system with potential support for as many as 384 CPU cores, each capable of four threads, plus additional accelerators including GPUs.
Imagination Technologies are the guys you license the PowerVR graphics technology that powers several mobile processors from Samsung, TI, MediaTek and Apple. They’re based in the UK and similarly to ARM, they design architectures that are then licensed to other companies who then produce actual silicon. In 2013 they acquired MIPS, another ‘fabless’ semiconductor design company that specialized in designing RISC-based processors that today are used in networking, embedded applications and more recently mobile and IoT applications.
The I6500is described as heterogeneous because potential customers can tweak the cores in several ways including dynamic voltage, frequencies, cache sizes and alterations to its multi-threaded configuration. So what kinds of applications is the architecture suited to? According to cnx-software.com:
“Target applications include advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), autonomous vehicles, networking, drones, industrial automation, security, video analytics, machine learning, and more.”
“One of the first customer for the new processor is Mobileye EyeQ5 SoC designed for Fully Autonomous Driving (interestingly shortened as “FAD”) vehicles will eight multi-threaded MIPS CPU cores coupled with eighteen cores of Mobileye’s Vision Processors (VPs). EyeQ5 SoC should be found in vehicles as early as 2021.”