Loongson Gearing Up to Ship 16-Core CPUs

(Image credit: Ezone.ulifestyle.com.hk)

China's Loongson plans to formally introduce and start shipping its 3C5000 processors. based on its own LoongArch instruction set architecture and featuring up to 16 cores. The CPUs will be aimed at servers, and promise to bring a number of advantages, due to their ISA enhancements.

Loongson’s LS3C5000 processors feature up to 16 LA464 cores, up to 64MB of cache, and four 64-bit DDR4-3200 memory interfaces with ECC support, according to eZone.hk. Each of Loongson’s LA464 cores have four general-purpose ALUs, and two 256-bit vector operations units. Also, being LoongArch-based, they feature 2,000 proprietary instructions, binary conversion extension instructions (LBT), vector processing extension instructions (LSX), advanced vector processing extension instructions (LASX), and virtualization extension instructions (LVZ). The CPU is reportedly made using SMIC’s 12nm fabrication process, an enhanced version of its 14nm manufacturing technology.

Previously it was reported that Loongson’s 3C5000 CPUs with up to 16 cores use four quad-core LS3A5000 CPUs, connected on the same piece of substrate using AMD’s HyperTransport 3.0 technology, but this is incorrect, the 3C5000 chip uses a monolithic core, but has HyperTransport 3.0 links for symmetric multiprocessor configurations. The 3A5000 chips for client PCs were introduced last year and have been shipping since then.

There is no information about clock speeds for the 3C5000 CPU, or thermal design power, but keeping in mind that 3A5000 chips (operating at 2.30 GHz – 2.50 GHz) were designed with notebooks in mind, the 3C5000 should not be too termally demanding.

Loongson originally planned to formally introduce and start shipments of its 16-core 3C5000 processors for servers by the end of 2021, but it looks like it had to delay its product launch a bit, possibly to polish off the platform and/or wait before server software gains support for at least some of the proprietary instructions supported by the CPU.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • russell_john
    Interesting that they had to license AMD's HyperTransport 3.0 IP ..... That means they won't be able to export them to Russia, North Korea and any other country under US Sanctions