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China to Challenge Intel at Chipmaking

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 117 comments

China, now more than ever, wishes to become technology independent. Following the nation’s impressive show to the world at the summer Olympics in Beijing, China hopes to continue its rise.

Already producing its own automobiles, China is looking to the next industrial area for growth – technology. In particular, there is a specific reason that China is looking to make its own CPUs, and that’s because current U.S. laws prohibit the export of state-of-the-art microprocessors into certain nations. China is now looking to design its own chips so that it will not have to use generations-old hardware.

"Twenty years ago in China, we didn’t support R&D for microprocessors," said Zhiwei Xu, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), according to Technology Review. "The decision makers and [Chinese] IT community have come to realize that CPUs [central processing units] are important."

The Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Computing Technology started design of China’s first general-purpose CPU in 2001, with the single-core chip named Godson-1 emerging the year after. The Godson-2 lived throughout 2003 to 2006, with each iteration faster than the last.

While the Godson chips are Chinese designed, they are actually manufactured by ST Microelectronics and can be bought under the commercial name of Loongson.

Like the rest of the CPU world, the next step is in multiple cores. Xu revealed during a presentation at last week’s Hot Chips conference in Palo Alto that the Godson-3 will contain four cores and is slated for completion sometime in 2009. An eight core version is also in the works, with the design currently planned for a 65nm process.

The Godson-3 is to be scalable, with more cores easily added without significant changes in design, and contain power-saving features.

Perhaps the biggest upgrade for the Godson-3 is the 200 addition instructions that will allow the Chinese chip to run x86 code. The upcoming chip hopes to dodge any license fees for Intel, as the Godson-3 will only simulate the x86 architecture.

Because of this setup, Intel patent attorney Erik Metzger believes that the Godsend-3 will only perform at 80 percent of the speed of a native x86 chip. Understandably, Intel is keeping a close eye on its x86 patents and the work of the ICT.

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  • -4 Hide
    cushgod , September 5, 2008 6:04 PM
    Cool!!! GO CHINA!!! competition!!! u no like this INtel?? hehe
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 5, 2008 6:18 PM
    No doubt copied off intel and AMD's designs, just like they copy our software for free and use it like shareware.
  • 2 Hide
    jrabbitb , September 5, 2008 6:22 PM
    THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING. We have a huge market in china for selling american company product and we have it locked out?!?!?! Here's an idea, open up the market and put intel, amd, and via (who forgot about via? ) and let us get some of the money back that we are barrowing from china to stay afloat as a country. btw, typing in the box in chrome is messed up. cant go back and edit very easily, refresh isn't working correctly.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 5, 2008 6:28 PM
    in the last paragraph, you wrote "believes that the Godsend-3 " I believe that is a different movie. Greetings from Mexico
  • -1 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , September 5, 2008 6:52 PM
    We will see
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , September 5, 2008 7:11 PM
    Yes, why on earth aren't we exporting technology to China? For cryin' out loud, we're wasting enough of our money on cheap Chinese junk, supporting their booming economy, while our economy is tanking. Let them buy decent technology from us so they can use it to make stuff that's actually worth buying. Just think, if AMD could get into that market ahead of Intel, they might actually be able to make a fast turnaround in sales volume, which would make for a more even playing field in the processor wars. The healthier the competition, the better off everybody is.
  • 3 Hide
    lobhob , September 5, 2008 7:21 PM
    I really don't care they will only run a 1 ghz per core, also this is no competition for AMD and Intel because they are at least 5 years behind in architecture complexity which can shoot out better n better performance.
  • 4 Hide
    squiZZ , September 5, 2008 7:50 PM
    im down for some chinese competition. Hell at the rate they're developing, they will be hot on Intel's heels forcing em to cook up some great processors.
  • 0 Hide
    one-shot , September 5, 2008 8:19 PM
    Go Intel!..and AMD, just not...China.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 5, 2008 8:24 PM
    "Already producing its own automobiles"

    Have any of you guys actually seen what Chinese automobiles look like? The quality is horrendous, they come from the factory with visible defects on the body, LOL. I thought people were just talking shit about China until I saw pictures of it. In the likely event that they rip-off either AMD or Intel designs, the CPUs could be decent.
  • 1 Hide
    eklipz330 , September 5, 2008 8:36 PM
    i do support competition, but not this... this would plunge the value of the dollar, and we are so far in debt as it is... we owe TRILLIONS to china, this will just make everything worse... U.S. as the strongest world power will soon be just history

    intel and amd should start shipping their chips before they decide to boycott them... i forgot the exact terminology of this method, but it's to allow domestic companies to grow so that major companies don't stomp it down in it's infancy
  • 3 Hide
    dagger , September 5, 2008 8:43 PM
    A lot of anti-China feelings here...

    I hope their processor develop as fast as their economy in general. More competition means cheaper prices for all of us.

    It'll interesting to see when they begin to sell chips to America once they surpass AMD/Intel without the country setting any restrictions. American government is really the only one that shoots itself in the foot like this. Countries like Japan and Germany have been willingly exporting their technology at a profit for years.
  • -1 Hide
    dagger , September 5, 2008 8:46 PM
    eklipz330i do support competition, but not this... this would plunge the value of the dollar, and we are so far in debt as it is... we owe TRILLIONS to china, this will just make everything worse... U.S. as the strongest world power will soon be just historyintel and amd should start shipping their chips before they decide to boycott them... i forgot the exact terminology of this method, but it's to allow domestic companies to grow so that major companies don't stomp it down in it's infancy


    Unlikely. It's the American government we're talking about here. You think Intel and AMD like not being able to make a profit? They've been lobbying for years, and been shot down "in the interest of national security."
  • 2 Hide
    frozenlead , September 5, 2008 8:48 PM
    There is a reason that chinese products are usually regarded as some of the lowest quality things in any market.
  • 5 Hide
    JAYDEEJOHN , September 5, 2008 9:04 PM
    I dont care how big Intel is, theyre peanuts compared to this. Not so sure if this is good. Remember, this isnt a company, this is a nation, with much more money and influence thatn lil ol Intel. I dont like it, and maybe thats why the US doesnt allow free and open trade like this, because this really isnt a company
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 5, 2008 9:12 PM
    lots of racism in here.. WOW..! competition can only make things better for us...
    cheaper processor price, better processor...
    lets all be patient!
  • 0 Hide
    goonting , September 5, 2008 9:23 PM
    with all the money they can spend... Go china...help make things affordable for us asians..
  • 4 Hide
    nukemaster , September 5, 2008 9:45 PM
    Why the hell would they not be exported to? To be honest, I would start my own development too if I had to use stuff that old.
  • 1 Hide
    ravenware , September 5, 2008 10:09 PM
    Quote:
    China to Challenge Intel at Chipmaking


    China to fail miserably.

    I don't trust alarm clocks that are made in china would why I put one of their bound to be half-assed chips in my computer?
  • -3 Hide
    techguy101 , September 5, 2008 10:43 PM
    wow racism... i thought you CAPITALISTS honor competition... you do know that for capitalism to work you need competition right....

    thats right china's capitalistic.. look that up....
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