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China's Godson 3 Processor To Take on Intel, AMD

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October 2, 2008 12:28:23 AM

China's Godson 3 Processor To Take on Intel, AMD

posted by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Sep 2008 08:52 UTC
IconWhen China launched its first microprocessor, the Godson 1 in 2002, it wasn't much of a competitor to what Intel and AMD had to offer. The 64bit Godson 2, released in 2005, still didn't worry the Western chip makers, but the chip did start to pop up here and there outside of China. Expect to see a lot more of them in the coming years, as the Godson 3 promises to be a chip that can compete head on with the big ones: quad-core, eight core version in the pipeline, and 200 extra instructions aiding in x86 compatibility.

The 64bit chip, planned for 2009, will offer four cores, but it will also include 200 extra instructions aimed at helping people run x86 code on the Godson 3, which is actually a MIPS processor. Whether or not they have an Intel license to do so remains to be seen - Intel wouldn't comment on the new processor.

The eight core version is even more interesting, as it promises to be a heterogeneous processor like IBM's Cell. This means that not all eight cores have to be the same, so that you can, say, put a graphics core in the chip as one of the eight cores. Intel and AMD are working on similar technology, with Intel promising to deliver it somewhere next year, not too far off from the Godson 3's promised arrival.

China develops the Godson processors, also known as Loongson, to gain independence from western chip makers. In addition, the chips are a lot less expensive than what Intel and AMD have to offer, allowing the Chinese government to make low-cost MIPS computers running Linux and other open source software, and distribute them among the Chinese people.

http://www.newmobilecomputing.com/story/20267/China_s_G...

Someone commented under the article:

by agrouf (2.96) on Tue 9th Sep 2008 09:13 UTC

"The gdium lberty 1000 netbook will have a Loongson processor: http://www.gdium.com/
Very low power consumption and no fan needed. It should have been launched at start of september, but has been delayed until the end of the month. I can't wait to put my hands on it. I want one now. This is the first time I'm excited by a new machine in years. At last a machine that does not hold us back with compatibility issues and history. Godson 3 looks very promising. I hope they don't waste too much power on x86 compatibility, because it's high time we start moving forward."
a c 122 à CPUs
October 2, 2008 12:44:55 AM

Yea from what I read on this its just a way for China to have their own CPu because they are stuck right now on older Athlon X2s and Pentium Ds due to trade embargos.

Personally, no offense to Chinese, but their work speaks for them and I truly doubt this chip will be anything amazing. I hear its going to be based on 90/65nm process and probably wont be half as powerful as a Intel/AMD CPU since it will only emulte the x86 code, not truly run it.
October 2, 2008 12:52:46 AM

jimmysmitty said:
Yea from what I read on this its just a way for China to have their own CPu because they are stuck right now on older Athlon X2s and Pentium Ds due to trade embargos.

Personally, no offense to Chinese, but their work speaks for them and I truly doubt this chip will be anything amazing. I hear its going to be based on 90/65nm process and probably wont be half as powerful as a Intel/AMD CPU since it will only emulte the x86 code, not truly run it.


Emulation only chips off around 20% performance though, not half. It all depends on how well the chip itself perform. I'd imagine that they'd at least outperform the Athlon x2s that they're supposed to replace. Otherwise it would make no sense. Unfortunately it probably won't be offering any competition to high end. It'd be nice if Intel gets any competition in that area. $1500+ for an "extreme quad" is insane. :sarcastic: 
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October 2, 2008 12:56:31 AM

Well since Intel is opening up operations in China I dont see why China wont copy them like they do to everything else. It must be nice not to have to follow patent rights.
a c 122 à CPUs
October 2, 2008 1:00:26 AM

^Still. Its Chinese. From my experience they do not last very long. I have some toys that are over 20 years old made here in the US. But some of the ones I got made in China ended up in the dump.

Just my way of saying, these chips wont be anything to compete with Intel and AMD in true terms of performance. They may be cheap but we will never see them.
October 2, 2008 1:04:10 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
Well since Intel is opening up operations in China I dont see why China wont copy them like they do to everything else. It must be nice not to have to follow patent rights.


What makes you think they don't already? It would be easy enough to put a cpu in your pocket and catch a plane ride. Even if they don't do it openly due to international trade considerations, they're probably doing it for use in military applications, which is what this "embargo" is supposed to prevent. This braindead concept is just the kind of thing American politicans can come up with. All it does is hurt American companies by taking away sales. :p 
October 2, 2008 1:29:53 AM

Dont see what the problem is here. Any sembelence of competition is a good thing. Getting preety sick of this 1 sided "battle" really. All it does is lower the IQ's of fanbois.
October 2, 2008 2:17:51 AM

The Godson series seems to be based on a MIPS 32 bit architecture. While nothing to sneeze at, outside of the database server space and the integrated CPU space, not much of a supercomputer processor.

Interesting... Doing research for this comment, the new leader in supercomputers is now powered by IBM Cell processors, using AMDs for interconnect controllers. Still, overall, Intel processors account for >70% of installed base.

I have to agree with Dagger's comments regarding 'trade restrictions'. US was limiting encryption in exports to 64 bit, later relaxed to 128 bit, while the rest of the world was happily using 256 bit minimum. Trade restrictions tend to be a two-way street...
October 2, 2008 2:33:05 AM

Those "very low power" cpu's open up some very interesting stuff for the military apps in portability.

One of our major holdbacks in the "LandWarrior" project by the Army was finding adequate cpu oomph that will run on batteries/fuel cell for decent time frames.
October 2, 2008 3:40:21 PM

Granite3 said:
Those "very low power" cpu's open up some very interesting stuff for the military apps in portability.


I doubt this will touch the AMD64 2000+ (8w) and the Atom N270 (4w).
you still have AMD Geode for 1W.

Chinese products are cheap, unreliable and with a short life span. I expect this CPU to follow this trend.
Might be great for chinese gold farmers (mmorpgs), students and "some" home use.
But i don't expect this to have significant power, reliability, compatibility and a decent life span.

Honestly? Good for them. They will have a cheap soltion. Would i think this CPU will crush my 4800+ x2 Brisbane ?
Lol no. Chinese are good in mass producing, replication. Ingeniuty and development was never their strong arm.

And in that case, doesn't really matter how many they are.
!