Imagination Technologies has stepped up its attempts to fight ARM's dominance of the SoC processor-core market by engaging some leading customers in an open-source effort that mirrors the Linaro group and by cutting a deal with Oracle, similar to one signed by ARM last autumn, designed to yield versions of Java optimised for the MIPS processor family.
Broadcom, Cavium, Ikanos, Lantiq, PMC, and Qualcomm are among those who have agree to join Prpl, an open-source development group focused on MIPS and what Imagination calls 'datacenter to device’ architectures.
"As part of our commitment to community, and consistent with our agnostic approach to IP, the prpl foundation will be supportive of heterogeneous architectures," said Imagination CEO Hossein Yassaie.
Imagination said the initial domains targeted by Prpl include data center, networking, digital home and embedded/IoT. Imagination intends to use Prpl to bring together under one roof open source projects based on the MIPS processor community and make accessible the latest free, 'unencumbered' tool chains, associated libraries, common platform, debuggers, probes and software, and build environments.
Prpl will divide its efforts among a number of domain-specific Prpl Engineering Groups (PEGs). For example, Qualcomm Incorporated intends to focus heavily on networking initiatives such as fostering a community around carrier-grade OpenWrt.
Prpl will contribute updates for popular OS distributions for MIPS including Android, Arch Linux, CentOS, Chromium OS, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, MEOS (MIPS Embedded OS), Montavista, OpenWrt, Redhat, Tizen, Ubuntu, WebOS and Yocto, with more to follow. Additionally there will be an open-source code bank for: LLVM, kernel, UEFI, gcc, buildroot, MIPS optimizations/SDK, and more.
Following the Java deal, Oracle and Imagination are working together to bring the Oracle JDK (Java Development Kit), Oracle Java SE Embedded, and other product support to MIPS32 and MIPS64 systems. In addition, the two companies will work together to improve Java on systems using Imagination’s PowerVR graphics processors.
“We are seeing increasing demand for optimized Java support for MIPS," claimed Nandini Ramani, vice president for Java and internet of things at Oracle.