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Chinese firm chooses US tech for smart grid solution

Vango and MIPS share processor technology and announce strategic alliance

Chip technology could give smart grid solutions
Chip technology could give smart grid solutions

A Chinese chip manufacturer and US IT technology firm are to work together on solutions for the Chinese smart grid market. Vango Technologies in China and MIPS technologies in the US have announced their strategic partnership through the MIPS Alliance Program. In addition, Vango will use MIPS Technologies' “processor cores” to provide 32-bit microcontroller functionality in their chips for smart grid systems.

Nick Tan, CEO of Vango, said: “The single most important reason to choose MIPS is reliability. 

"Uninterrupted power is a necessity today, and can be a matter of life-or-death. For this reason, nothing is more important than reliable power grid management. 

“With the established and proven MIPS architecture, we can create reliable 32-bit solutions that are high-performance and low-power. Together with MIPS, we look forward to dramatically expanding our role in China's smart grid."

MIPS will provide its MIPS32 M14K Core which incorporates the microMIPS code compression Instruction Set Architecture. MIPS claims this allows uncompromised 32-bit performance with exceptional code density by using an optimal combination of 16-and 32-bit instructions. Furthermore, MIPS has said that the M14K core achieves best-in-class performance of 3.09 CoreMarks/MHz and 1.57 DMIPS/MHz in microMIPS mode. 

Currently, most power metres are based on 8-bit and 16-bit MCUs. MIPS explains that while these MCUs meet current market needs, the future outlook calls for 32-bit MCUs to facilitate complex, uninterrupted and secure processing. 32-bit MCUs enable metres to scale for future needs, providing the hardware necessary to support tomorrow's sophisticated software, which can be updated in the field without interruption.

Gideon Intrater, vice president of marketing, MIPS Technologies said: "In our M14K cores, the industry-standard MIPS architecture has been specifically enhanced to address technical challenges specific to MCUs, providing advantages over the competition in terms of higher performance, lower power and more advanced features. With these cores, which are widely used in embedded designs, Vango can create scalable, cost-effective and trusted 32-bit MCU solutions."