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AMD Licenses 64-bit MIPS architecture

It's a PDA, Internet appliance thang

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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Advanced Micro Devices Inc has licensed MIPS Technologies Inc's MIPS64 Instruction Set Architecture. Sunnyvale, California-based AMD will use the MIPS64 architecture to create a new line of 64-bit processors through its Personal Connectivity Solution Group, which was formed following the acquisition of Alchemy Semiconductor Inc in February.

Alchemy was best known for its development of high-performance, low-power 32-bit processor technologies based on the MIPS32 architecture, which it licensed from MIPS in 1999. The MIPS64 architecture will be used to develop 64-bit processors for the "Internet Edge Device" market currently targeted by the PCS group - essentially non-PC internet appliances.

While the adoption of the 64-bit MIPS architecture will enable AMD to extend its position in the embedded space - MIPS is the sole 64-bit architecture for Microsoft's Windows CE - it may cause the company some problems later down the line as it looks to move into the mobile phone market.

Current Pocket PC 2002 devices only run on chips based on the ARM instruction set, designed by Cambridge, UK-based ARM Holdings Plc. The indications are that if AMD is to make strides in the mobile device market, it will have to either emulate or adopt the ARM instruction set or rely on Microsoft increasing its support for MIPS.

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