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More companies back MIPS

MIPS is signing up an increasing number of companies for its chip architecture, showing that its technology remains vital in areas such as handheld devices.

MIPS is signing up an increasing number of companies for its chip architecture, showing that its technology remains vital in areas such as handheld devices and digital convergence products.

MIPS Technologies announced today that Integrated Device Technology (IDT), LSI Logic, and Quantum Effect Design have joined its Windows CE Development Alliance.

The Microsoft Windows CE operating system is a simplified version of the Windows 98 software used on personal computers. Windows CE is used in handheld computers and TV set-top devices.

The group of MIPS licensees that are a part of the Windows CE alliance already includes Toshiba, Philips Semiconductors, and NEC.

MIPS also struck a deal with Texas Instruments (TI) last month. The two companies will provide customers with support for designs that combine MIPS processors with TI's digital signal processor technology. TI will license 32- and 64-bit RISC technologies from MIPS.

But it is in the Windows CE camp that MIPS seems to gathering some steam. Though the Hitachi SH design also has a strong presence in the Windows CE market, the MIPS design is attracting broader support from chipmakers. Intel is also supporting CE with its StrongARM processors but has yet to become a major force in the market.

Microsoft initially wrote and developed Windows CE using MIPS-based processors to test the code, according to MIPS. NEC, Philips, Casio, WebTV, and Samsung, among others, ship Windows CE devices with processors based on a MIPS design.

Processors range up to a 266-MHZ 64-bit R5000 design.