Imagination Technologies is announcing today that it has completed the design of its first MIPS Warrior processor, dubbed the MIPS P5600, which will bring as many as six cores, or computing brains, to smartphones and tablets.

MIPS Warrior

Above: MIPS Warrior

Image Credit: Imagination Technologies

London-based Imagination said the new CPU design — which can be licensed to chip makers who will build chips based on the design — is a 32-bit processor with as many as six cores and a size that is 30 percent smaller than similar CPU cores.

Imagination is describing the chip this week at the Linley Processor Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. The chip design will go head-to-head against rival designs from ARM, the leader in mobile and tablet processors.

Imagination believes it can beat ARM both on performance and on low power consumption. Imagination is targeting the chip at a wide range of embedded, consumer, and mobile markets. The chip is the first in a series of MIPS Series5 CPUs coming in the next year.

“As the first new MIPS core introduced since the acquisition of MIPS Technologies, the MIPS P5600 shows that Imagination Technologies is pushing the historic MIPS architecture forward. It’s the first MIPS core to implement the MIPS Release 5 ISA, which includes important features like the MIPS SIMD Architecture and virtualization,” said Tom Halfhill, a senior analyst with The Linley Group and a senior editor of Microprocessor Report. “We’re looking forward to seeing the rest of the MIPS Warrior family rolled out over the next year.”

The P5600 can be used in mobile phones, tablets, set-top boxes, digital TVs, multi-room and multichannel audio systems, home network, and micro servers. The chip family will be able to run anywhere from 1 gigahertz to above 2 gigahertz. The chips will be able to address physical memory in excess of 1 terabyte, and future versions will be able to process data in 64 bits, making them appropriate for server applications. The MIPS chips will also have built-in security options.

“We are proud to announce this first MIPS ‘Warrior P-class’ CPU,” said Tony King-Smith, executive vice president of marketing at Imagination. “This is about much more than the arrival of yet another CPU IP core. This is the start of something much bigger – the rollout of a comprehensive family of next-generation CPUs that will change the CPU IP landscape forever. As we continue to roll out MIPS Series5 products to address the applications spectrum from entry-level to the high-end, we will provide levels of performance, efficiency, and functionality that surpass other offerings in the market. Many more Warriors are coming.”

The P5600 will be available for licensing this quarter. The chip can deliver 35,000 DMIPS and 50,000 CoreMark while running at 1.7 gigahertz. (That means it has good performance).