A type of license used with mainframe software, which limits the size of the computer or CPU the software can be used on. MIPS means million instructions per second and is a unit commonly used to give the rate at which a processor executes instructions. IBM uses a similar benchmark called MSU or measured service units.
The advantage of a MIPS based license for a mainframe that acts as a server for a large number of terminals is that MIPS bears a relationship to the use that those terminals are making of the software running on the server. The difficulty is that minor upgrades can push the licensee past the MIPS limit or that with legacy software, mainframe power is increasing steadily in such a way as to render it difficult to replace an old system with a mainframe of similarly small capacity. See Power-by-the-Hour.