MIPS Technologies

MIPS Technologies

Coordinates: 37°25′12″N 122°04′22″W / 37.4201°N 122.0728°W / 37.4201; -122.0728

MIPS Technologies, Inc.
Type Public: (NASDAQ: MIPS)
Industry RISC microprocessors
Founded 1984
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, United States
Key people Sandeep Vij
Products Processor IP
Employees 146 (September 2010)
Website mips.com

MIPS Technologies, Inc., formerly MIPS Computer Systems, Inc., is a semiconductor design company that is most widely known for developing the MIPS architecture and a series of RISC CPU chips. MIPS provides processor architectures and cores for digital home, networking and mobile applications.

MIPS Computer Systems Inc. was founded in 1984 by a group of researchers from Stanford University that included John L. Hennessy, as a vendor of microprocessor chips.

In 1988, MIPS Computer Systems designs were noticed by Silicon Graphics (SGI) and the company adopted the MIPS architecture for its computers. A year later, in December 1989, MIPS held its first IPO.

After developing the R2000 and R3000 microprocessors, a management change brought along the larger dreams of being a computer vendor. The company found itself unable to compete in the computer market against much larger companies and was struggling to support the costs of developing both the chips and the systems (MIPS Magnum). To secure the supply of future generations of MIPS microprocessors (the 64-bit R4000), SGI acquired the company in 1992 for $333 million and renamed it as MIPS Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SGI.

During SGI's ownership of MIPS, the company introduced the R8000 in 1994 and the R10000 in 1996 and a follow up the R12000 in 1997. During this time, two future microprocessors code-named The Beast and Capitan were in development; these were cancelled after SGI decided to migrate to the Itanium architecture in 1998. As a result, MIPS was spun out as an intellectual property licensing company, offering licences to the MIPS architecture as well as microprocessor core designs.

On June 30, 1998, MIPS held an IPO after raising about $16.3 million with an offering price of $14 dollars a share. In 1999, SGI announced it would overhaul its operations; it planned to continue introducing new MIPS processors until 2002, but its server business would include Intel’s processor architectures as well. SGI spun MIPS out completely on June 20, 2000 by distributing all its interest as stock dividend to the stockholders.

In early 2008 MIPS laid-off 28 employees from its processor business group. On August 13, 2008, MIPS announced a loss of $108.5 million for their fiscal fourth-quarter and that they would lay-off another 15% of their workforce. At the time MIPS had 512 employees.

Some notable people who worked in MIPS: James Billmaier, Steve Blank, Joseph DiNucci, John L. Hennessy, David Hitz, Earl Killian, Dan Levin, John Mashey, John P. McCaskey, Bob Miller, Stratton Sclavos. and Skip Stritter. Board members included: Bill Davidow.

In 2010, Sandeep Vij was named CEO of MIPS Technologies. Vij studied under Dr. John Hennessy as a Stanford University grad student. Prior to taking over at MIPS, Vij was an executive at Cavium Networks, Xilinx and Altera.

EE Times reported that MIPS had 150 employees as of November 1, 2010. If the August 14th, 2008 EDN article was accurate about MIPS having over 500 employees at the time, then MIPS reduced their total workforce by 70% between 2008 and 2010.

In addition to its headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, MIPS has development facilities in Shanghai, China and Beaverton, Oregon. It also has offices in Hsin-chu, Taiwan; Tokyo, Japan; Remscheid, Germany and Haifa, Israel.


It is expected at the first quarter of year 2013, 498 out of 580 its patent will be sell to Bridge Crossing which created by Allied Security Trust, and all the other part of the company sold to Imagination Technologies Group.

Read more about MIPS Technologies:  Technology, Operating Systems, Licensees and Products, Company Timeline

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