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Fwd: "Our word is longer than theirs!"
Z just sent me this, and I thought it might interest some of the rest
of you. With products like this, California is looking more and more
tempting. (Now if someone wanted me to build a Lisp super-workstation
around one of these puppies...)
---------- Forwarded message begins here ----------
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 91 03:21:16 -0800
From: Zalman Stern <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, wlott@CS.CMU.EDU, af@CS.CMU.EDU,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, FITZGERALD@IBM.COM, email@example.com
Subject: "Our word is longer than theirs!"
For Immediate Release
For information contact:
MIPS Computer Systems, Inc.
MIPS Unveils First 64-bit RISC Microprocessor
Single-chip architecture delivers performance needed
for broad range of applications in the '90s
Sunnyvale, Calif. -- Feb. 1, 1991 -- MIPS Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:
MIPS) today released information about its next-generation microprocessor,
the R4000(TM), which will be the industrys first full 64-bit
implementation. The single-chip R4000 is designed to simplify the
transition from 32-bits to 64-bits for users, systems builders and software
developers. MIPS expects the R4000 to be available later this year through
its five CMOS semiconductor partners worldwide.
The highly integrated R4000 offers system and software designers the
performance necessary for a wide range of applications, while maintaining
full software compatibility with previous generations of MIPS(R)
microprocessors. In addition, the R4000 delivers its overall high
performance using superpipelining, a technique that speeds processing by
allowing the computer to issue two instructions during each clock cycle.
The single-chip R4000 includes a 64-bit integer processing unit, a 64-bit
floating-point processing unit, an 8-kilobyte instruction cache, an
8-kilobyte data cache, primary and secondary cache control, a memory
management unit, and full multiprocessing capabilities. The integer unit
performs the simple arithmetic and logical operations that are the backbone
of all computing, both technical and commercial. The floating-point unit
handles the rapid arithmetic calculations required for scientific,
engineering and graphics applications, as well as such business
applications as financial forecasting.
Our goal is to make MIPS' RISC technology pervasive worldwide and
R4000-based systems the platforms-of-choice for a wide range of commercial
and technical applications in this decade," said Robert C. Miller, chief
executive officer of MIPS. "The versatility and performance of the R4000
will accelerate the move of RISC into mainstream computing. The seamless
transition from 32- to 64-bit address space will attract more users as they
recognize that this feature is a prerequisite for computing in the '90s."
The R4000 can process data in 64-bit words, in contrast to other
microprocessors, which process data in 32-bit or smaller words. In
addition to 64 bit addresses, the R4000 processes 64-bit data in both the
floating point and integer units, as well as in the data paths, or buses.
The key benefit of 64-bit processing is to simplify a computer's ability to
address large amounts of information--a feature that will greatly simplify
software programming and development of increasingly complex applications.
Among the applications that will need 64-bit computing are large database
systems requiring large amounts of memory and technical systems that use
graphics. R4000-based systems will also run existing 32-bit application
software without modification.
Superpipelining Enhances Performance
The R4000 architecture uses a technique known as superpipelining. Most
RISC chips issue one instruction for every tick of the system clock. The
R4000 issues two instructions per cycle. Superpipelining overlaps the
execution of multiple instructions, so that while the first step of an
instruction is performed, the second step of the previous instruction is
Both the integer and floating point units are superpipelined.
Superpipelining requires less circuitry than other multiple-instruction
issue techniques, so it leaves room on the chip for other functions.
Further, it provides greater integer processing than most other techniques,
whose benefits are confined mainly to floating-point operations.
Superpipelining, therefore, is particularly important in commercial
applications, where balanced integer and floating-point performance are
Flexibility for Pervasiveness
The R4000 was designed to address a broad range of applications and it will
be available in several price and performance versions. For example, the
highly integrated R4000 will power desktop systems at a cost equal to
todayUs PCs, but with performance exceeding todayUs workstations. Very
high-performance versions of the R4000 will allow computer manufacturers to
build high-performance servers that will dramatically outperform todayUs
The R4000 also includes special circuitry that forms the foundation from
which computer designers can easily build multiprocessing systems of
numerous configurations. Since standards in multiprocessor systems are
still evolving, this flexibility is very important for systems designers
and unique among microprocessors.
Pin-compatible R4000 microprocessors will be available from MIPS' five CMOS
semiconductor partners--Integrated Device Technology, LSI Logic, NEC,
Performance Semiconductor, and Siemens.
MIPS Computer Systems, Inc. is a leading supplier of RISC technology for
the computer system and embedded control markets. The company licenses its
RISC architecture to its semiconductor and system partners worldwide. MIPS
also manufactures and markets a family of high-performance computer systems
that range from desktop workstations to deskside and data center servers to
OEMs, VARs and system integrators worldwide.
MIPS is a registered trademark and R4000 is a trademark of MIPS Computer