MIPS Technologies, Inc. formerly MIPS Computer Systems, is most widely known for developing the MIPS architecture and a series of pioneering RISC CPUs. MIPS provides processor architectures and cores for digital consumer, networking, personal entertainment, communications and business applications.
MIPS Computer Systems Inc. was founded in 1984 by a group of researchers from Stanford University that included John L. Hennessy, as a vendor of microprocessor chips. MIPS made its first initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq in November 1989 (after which it was acquired by Silicon Graphics, SGI, spun-off, then IPOed again in 1998).
After being successful in the market with the R2000 and R3000 microprocessors, a management change brought along the larger dreams of being a computer vendor. The company found itself unable to compete in the computer market against much larger companies and was struggling to support the costs of developing both the chips and the systems (MIPS Magnum). To secure the supply of future generations of MIPS microprocessors (the 64-bit R4000), SGI acquired the company in 1992 for $333 million and ran it as MIPS Technologies Inc. (MTI), a wholly owned subsidiary of SGI.
After SGI decided to migrate to the Itanium architecture in 1998, it was decided to spin out MTI as an intellectual property licensing company offering licences to the MIPS architecture as well as microprocessor core designs. MTI made an IPO on June 30 1998, i.e. it was no longer wholly owned by SGI since the IPO. SGI spun it off completely on June 20 2000 by distributing all its interest as stock dividend to the stock holders.
Besides its headquarters in Mountain View, California, MIPS has development facilities in Oeiras, and Porto both in Portugal; Gdansk in Poland; Leuven, in Belgium; Macau, Suzhou and Shanghai in China; Caen in France; Trondheim in Norway, Beaverton, Oregon.