Company: MIPS Technologies, Inc.
Based: Sunnyvale, California
Founded: 1982 as MIPS Computer Systems Inc.
(acquired by Silicon Graphics in 1992, Imagination Technologies in 2013)
Founders: John L. Hennessy (Standford Univ.), Skip Stritter (Motorola) and John Moussouris (IBM)
Specialty: Fab-less semiconductor design company. Developed RISC architecture and RISC microprocessors. Designed the Sony Playstation / Playstation 2 & Nintendo 64 video game console processors, and Processors for home electronics including portable media players, Blu-ray Disc players, digital TV's & set-top boxes.
MIPS Computer Systems R6000 RISC CPU Chip (1990)
This gold-plated promotional lapel pin from MIPS Computer Systems features an actual MIPS R6000 RISC microprocessor chip encased in acrylic.
In the late 1980's, MIPS RISC processors were commonly used in Silicon Graphics (SGI) workstation computers, and Digital Equipment Corporation UNIX workstation computers, as well as other high-end computers.
Introduced in 1990, the MIPS R6000 was a 32-bit RISC CPU that was the first to use the MIPS II instruction set. It was offered in speeds of 60 & 66 MHz.
Unfortunately, the R6000 was not received well by the computer industry and never really made it out of pre-production - it lived a very short lifespan, with very few interested buyers:
The R6000 was manufactured for MIPS by a Beaverton, Oregon based semiconductor company named Bipolar Integrated Technology (BiT). The R6000's ECL (Emitter Coupled Logic) technology was plagued with manufacturing issues causing numerous delays.
Big customers like Sun Microsystems, Tandem Computers, and DEC decided not to go with the R6000, but instead wait for the upcoming MIPS R4000 64-bit CMOS processor that was anticipated to be faster, cheaper, and run cooler than the 32-bit R6000.
One customer that did decide to offer these processors as an option to their customers was Control Data, offering up to four R6000 processors in each of their new Model 4680, mainframe-class UNIX "Infoserver" line of multi-processor computers in 1991. Bull Information Systems would also offer the R6000 CPU in their DPX/2 Model 510 line of Unix based network servers in 1990.
"MIPS R6000" is embossed on the back of the lapel pin.
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