AI Chip Startup Wave to Buy Silicon Valley Old-Timer MIPS

AI chip startup Wave to buy Silicon Valley old-timer MIPS

Wave Computing has been aiming its AI chips at powerful computers, but acquiring MIPS will let it reach small devices, too. Call it a May-December marriage: A hot new AI chip startup called Wave Computing has acquired a veteran in the processor business, MIPS Technologies, CNET has learned. Wave, founded in 2010, aims to speed up the artificial intelligence technology with its custom processors.

But those chips are geared for companies with a big appetite for in-house AI work or for the data centers packed with computers that often supply computing power to others. By acquiring MIPS, Wave has a chance to disperse its technology from those central areas to the much wider world of devices in our lives. Wave didn’t comment for this story.

But it plans to announce the acquisition, a source familiar with the move said. MIPS, founded in 1984, has a long history in Silicon Valley. One of its founders was John Hennessy, who just received the prestigious Turing Award for being one of the inventors of a chip technology called RISC, short for reduced instruction set computing.

After MIPS, Hennessy became president of Stanford University and is now chairman of Google. MIPS, meanwhile, was acquired by Silicon Graphics and later Imagination Technologies but has been independent since late 2017.