A few months after announcing plans to “open source its MIPS instruction set architecture,” the folks at Wave Computing are following through. Mostly.
The company has launched the MIPS Open program and released the first components, offering developers royalty and license fee-free access to the latest versions of its 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS architecture.
But it’s questionable whether this is truly an “open source” initiative, so much as an “open use” project designed encourage developers to work with the company’s chips.
That said, by offering a downloadable copy of its instruction set, development tools, and documentation, Wave Computing is hoping to make MIPS architecture more attractive to both hardware and software developers at a time when x86 and ARM seem to have far more momentum.
Those aren’t the only games in town though. The free and open RISC-V ISA is also starting to gain a bit of traction with open source enthusiasts, with a handful of different organizations having released products with RISC-V architecture in the past few years, and some big names including NVIDIA considering to use it in the future.