Microsoft, MIPS Form Vendor Alliance

Long-time partners Microsoft and MIPS Technologies
grew closer Wednesday with the formation of an alliance
intended to promote the Windows CE .NET embedded operating system on
standard MIPS architecture to developers and OEMs.

MIPS produces industry-standard, high-performance, low-power, 32- and
64-bit RISC microprocessor architectures and cores for
embedded systems.

The alliance of silicon vendors includes ADMtek, AMD, ATI Technologies,
Broadcom, Marvell Technology Group, NEC Electronics, PMC-Sierra, Texas
Instruments and Toshiba. The members will form an advisory group that will
help Microsoft and MIPS create more optimized Windows CE ports for 32- and
64-bit MIPS-based processors destined for telematics and medical equipment,
residential gateways, set-top boxes, VoIP phones, even industrial
automation equipment and other devices.

“The idea is to collaborate with these companies in the alliance to ensure
that Windows CE and MIPS architecture work smoothly together out of the
box,” Scott Horn, director of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at
Microsoft, told

Horn said that together with feedback from the alliance, Microsoft and MIPS
will offer developers and OEMs the ability to “choose from a wide variety
of innovation that’s happening out there. They get that support out of the

The two partners unveiled the alliance of leading silicon vendors at The
MIPS and Microsoft Executive Summit, an invitation-only, two-day workshop
at Microsoft’s Redmond campus that brings together executives from 50 of
MIPS’ top licensees. The summit is intended to provide MIPS partners with
information about the latest MIPS and Windows CE technologies and business
opportunities that are available through the integration of Windows CE .NET
with MIPS architecture. Horn said the two companies hope to bring the
attendees into the alliance.

The summit will cover marketing strategies, technology road maps, silicon
vendor case studies of successful embedded solutions, and technical

The alliance has already brought engineers from both MIPS and Toshiba onto
the Redmond campus, where they are dedicated to optimizing Windows CE for
MIPS architecture.

“Windows CE is really the only operating system out there right now that
supports both MIPS 32-bit and MIPS 64-bit implementations,” said Kevin
Meyer, vice president of marketing at MIPS. “We have over 15 companies now
which are doing unique implementations around the MIPS architecture.”

Microsoft plans to release the next version of Windows CE .NET in the first
half of calendar 2003.

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