Did SGI not pretty much show everybody what to do in order to use MIPS in the Datacentre ? (Then the market chose arm which was much less suitable)
A new open source non-profit foundation dubbed prpl (pronounced purple) has been set up in an effort to promote the use of the MIPS architecture in everything from data centers to individual devices. The foundation is the brainchild of Imagination Technologies, which acquired MIPS in February 2013. Imagination has signed up …
Thursday 22nd May 2014 23:10 GMT Anonymous Coward
Yes...and no, at least, apropos ARM.
SGI as a company shot themselves in the foot by dropping MIPS/IRIX and 'evangelising' NT/2k on the desktop and Intel chippery, at which point most SGI houses went 'eek' and started looking elsewhere...
It's rather telling that even as late as 2002, there were 20+ Indys still in use at where I worked (Ok, mostly as souped-up xterms), yet there wasn't a single Visual Workstation to be seen, and, to this day, I've never seen one in the flesh).
At the same time, there was an Origin 3800 I had occasional need to access summarily 'retired' from use at a certain institute which led to a rather interesting diaspora, the majority of its users setting up local Linux clusters, a couple tried porting their code to Win2k (chortle), and some to Solaris.
The market didn't exactly choose ARM over MIPS, SGI fumbled the ball so badly they gave their share of it away. on a plate.
Now, don't get me started on Sun and SPARC...
Friday 23rd May 2014 17:38 GMT JLH
"yet there wasn't a single Visual Workstation to be seen, and, to this day, I've never seen one in the flesh)"
I worked in a visual effects/animation company in Soho arround that time - many Octanes and several large Origin 2000 systems - nice! Some Fuel workstations if I remember right.
I remember we got one or two of those Visual Workstations - argghhh. They were so non-standard.
The PCI bus ran at a different voltage than any standard PC, so you couldn't put off the shelf peripheral cards in the thing.
you are also right about the Linuxclusters.
Friday 23rd May 2014 15:49 GMT John Savard
There were the days when Windows NT had a MIPS port, and later Windows CE, and Cray made a vector supercomputer with a chip based on MIPS. Textbooks used MIPS as an example of an architecture, and the Chinese used it as the basis of a microprocessor.
But today ARM is the chip that has Android, so it's the major alternative to the x86. The Mac doesn't use the Power PC any more. Like the Power PC, MIPS is an orphan with no reason for people to consider it.
So just forming a group isn't necessarily going to achieve anything. It needs to be a platform.
Friday 23rd May 2014 17:44 GMT JLH
Re: Too Late
"There were the days when Windows NT had a MIPS port, "
Yup. NT was going to run on everything from your desktop PC, up through servers and onto the big supercomputer iron.
Remember that Unix was not prevalent - it was something for academics.
True IT shops ran VMS (or IBM mainframe MVS or whatever).
The world was meant to move to NT, on several architectures.
Microsoft killed that one by discontinuing the MIPS port.