The MIPS32 74K core is the first 32-bit processor to achieve operating frequencies greater than 1GHz in 65nm process technology. The core’s 15-stage pipeline design employs a unique combination of out-of-order dispatch and asymmetric dual-issue, enabling a higher-frequency, higher-performance solution with lower area and power. The DSP Application Specific Instructions (ASE) in the 74K core can improve performance and reduce power consumption, often eliminating the need for a separate DSP core and its associated area, power consumption, and royalties.

Berkeley Design Technology (BDTI), an independent technology analysis company, recently assessed the 74K core, focusing on its architecture, instruction set, development and debug tools, and performance. This paper describes BDTI’s assessment and explains how the 74K can help optimize designs for demanding multimedia and networking applications, including WiMAX, DVD players, and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).