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China Moves Toward One CPU Architecture to Rule Them All

ExtremeTech is referring to "various industry sources" that state that the Chinese government has begun the process of picking a national computer chip instruction set architecture (ISA). There is reasonable credibility for such a rumor as China has said for some time that it wants to decrease its dependency on Western CPU architectures and eventually transition entirely to a domestic product.

According to the article, MIPS, Alpha, ARM, Power, and China's own UPU are up for consideration. While it is pure speculation when and if such a standardization decision will be made, it is almost common sense to anticipate that China will keep this one in its own country and be biased toward UPU. However, companies such as MIPS still have hope that they can score with the Chinese government as the Longsoon processor has its origins in a MIPS core. MIPS said that it expects results and answers within a few months.

In a conversation with EETimes, ARM president Tudor Brown said that he was aware of China's ISA moves, and noted that [ARM understands] China’s initial desire to have its own ISA, and [ARM continues] to cooperate and discuss with the key people involved to reach a good solution. However, ARM pricing has reached millions of dollars for a single license, which may out of reach for many Chinese chip makers. According to the report, ARM has more than 34 licensees in China while MIPS has more than 20.

  • Regor245
    Made in China
    Reply
  • drwho1
    Not surprised.
    china copies everything.
    Reply
  • cheepstuff
    Enforcing one architecture means necessarily excluding others. If they strictly enforce a single architecture among manufacturers, and disallow other possibilities, they are shooting themselves in the foot by restricting innovation. The whole reason a variety of architectures are roaming the marketplace is because consumers have a use for them. If one instruction set met all consumer requirements to begin with, there would be only one kind of instruction set. Suppose an revolutionary instruction set is invented in ten years, the Chinese will lag behind the rest of the world because government officials cannot evolve as fast as a free market.
    Centrally planned shenanigans like this will hurt the Chinese people. A government should not needlessly take away the rights of the consumers to choose the product they want to buy just because a bureaucrat thinks they have an original idea.
    Reply
  • BringMeAnother
    frozonicComment removed by moderatorI dont get it, why would you care about some other country's policy? If they want to squash competition and impoverish themselves, it is their right and no other nation has the right to interfere in their internal affairs unless they have signed some kind of trade treaty.
    Reply
  • Marco925
    bringmeanotherI dont get it, why would you care about some other country's policy? If they want to squash competition and impoverish themselves, it is their right and no other nation has the right to interfere in their internal affairs unless they have signed some kind of trade treaty.Some of us would like to access that market for Sale. We open our market to them, and they in return impose huge tariffs and go out of their way to make sure they don't buy western products. Kinda lop sided eh?
    Reply
  • Unified Architecture? In China? Hmmm... I guess it this will be the first ever CPU with implemented hardware censorship.
    Reply
  • erunion
    bringmeanother,

    While we do lack the moral authority to use violence to impose our preferences on others, that does not apply to non-violent methods. No person or collective has a right to not be criticized.
    Reply
  • sabot00
    Marco925Some of us would like to access that market for Sale. We open our market to them, and they in return impose huge tariffs and go out of their way to make sure they don't buy western products. Kinda lop sided eh?You sound just like the British's justification for the Opium wars.

    Force a nation to accept narcotics on the basis on non-interference of free trade, the simple fact is (according to modern international law), you have no right to any country's market, at all.

    PS: The US does the same thing, protectionist cotton policies cost Mali $70 million and Brazil $120 million, home oil production is cheaper, etc.
    Reply
  • BringMeAnother
    Marco925Some of us would like to access that market for Sale. We open our market to them, and they in return impose huge tariffs and go out of their way to make sure they don't buy western products. Kinda lop sided eh?
    Here is the problem. You just expressed what you, as a foreigner (American?), desires and it is irrelevant to the Chinese, just like what the Chinese wants is irrelevant to you. Look, nation states will always try to do what they perceive as their national interest even tho in this instance I believe it is a short sighted choice, the is no reason to be surprised or angry at them for doing what they perceive as their national interest, even if that choice hurts or benefits some other nation.
    Reply
  • erunion
    bringmeanotherLook, nation states will always try to do what they perceive as their national interest
    Nation states will continue to do what they believe to be in their own self interest only so long as their populations continue to believe that the existence of the nation state is in their own self interest. When that is no longer true we will transition to some new political structure. What that may be and whether it is to the benefit or determent of humanity depends on the battle of ideas.
    Reply