Altera, MIPS and SLS announce first MIPS-based, FPGA-optimized soft processor

by K C Krishnadas, TechOnline India - May 04, 2011

Altera, MIPS Technologies and System Level Solutions Corporation have introduced a MIPS-based, FPGA-optimized soft processor for use on Altera’s FPGA and ASIC devices.

May 4, 2011

Altera, MIPS Technologies and System Level Solutions (SLS) Corporation have introduced a MIPS-based, FPGA-optimized soft processor for use on Altera’s FPGA and ASIC devices. The MP32 processor is a MIPS compatible applications class processor that inherits one of the largest ecosystems of software development tools and operating system support in the industry. The MP32 processor is the industry’s first FPGA-based soft processor supported by Wind River’s VxWorks RTOS and the MIPS Navigator ICS software development suite.

When combined with Altera’s broad portfolio of embedded intellectual property (IP) cores, innovative FPGA design tools and the industry’s leading portfolio of programmable logic devices, the MP32 processor is ideal for the development of flexible, single-chip solutions used in networking, video and digital signal processing applications.

"This joint development further reinforces Altera’s commitment to embrace industry-leading processors as part of our embedded initiative. We are pleased to give embedded designers the ability to leverage MIPS' rich software and tools ecosystem in a programmable logic device," said Vince Hu, vice president, product and corporate marketing, Altera.

“The MP32 processor provides architectural flexibility for multi-core designs with a seamless design flow. Designers of MIPS-based systems can use familiar tools and software while choosing the right platform - FPGAs, HardCopy ASIC or standard cell ASICs - to meet their price, performance and volume needs. The value of the core has already been proven in key customer engagements where Altera has employed the MP32 processor,” said Art Swift, vice president, marketing and business development, MIPS Technologies. 

The MP32 processor is distributed and supported through Altera Embedded Alliance partner SLS. SLS brings a portfolio of IP, systems knowledge and FPGA design experience to deliver fully validated, ready-to-deploy MP32 processor-based solutions.

“SLS is well suited to bring the MP32 processor to the market for a simple reason - we bring a decade of FPGA embedded system design expertise and proven success for customers around the world,” said Paresh

Patel, CEO SLS Corp.

The processor is supported by the MIPS Navigator ICS software development suite and System Navigator EJTAG debug probes. For debug and trace, the MP32 processor is supported by TRACE32, a debug and off-chip trace probe from Lauterbach.

For the first time, developers can run VxWorks on an FPGA-based soft-core processor.  Wind River provides world-class support and a VxWorks board support package (BSP) for the MP32 processor.

The  MP32 processor is designed to be used with Altera's Qsys system integration tool. System architects can quickly and easily construct complex, flexible and differentiated solutions by assembling the MP32 processor with a broad portfolio of embedded, networking, video and digital signal processing IP from Altera and its global IP partners.

A video highlighting the design flow for the MP32 processor with Qsys system integration platform is available for viewing at www.altera.com/mp32video

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