MIPS (Microprocessor without interlocked pipeline stages) is a RISC microprocessor architecture
developed by MIPS Computer Systems Inc in the early eighties. MIPS processors were used in high-end servers from Siemens and DEC and
especially in SGI's computer product line, and have found broad application in embedded systems, Windows CE devices, and Cisco routers.
The Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation 2 consoles also use MIPS processors. The architecture was very successful, about one third of all RISC chips produced in mid 1990s were MIPS based
designs. In 1999 the ARM/StrongARM architecture took over rather decisively in thanks to cell phone and PDA usage.
The MIPS design is licensed to many 3rd party vendors, among them IDT, Siemens, NEC, HP and Toshiba. It is one of the most popular licensed architectures. This is not
because the MIPS architecture is particularly good in a specific task. It isn't. MIPS is just a convenient, clean, and easily scaled architecture around which
special-purpose network processors or protocol engines can be added. It is one of the cleanest and most generic processor designs around, finely tuned for absolutely nothing.
MIPS architecture at Wikipedia
Number one RISC architecture (1997)
MIPS architecture documentation
MIPS R series tech docs
Comprehensive SGI information at SGIstuff