Loongson Launches Next Generation 3A5000 CPU

(Image credit: HKEPC)

Loongson, a Chinese CPU developer, has formally introduced its next generation 3A5000 CPUs that are based on the company's proprietary microarchitecture. The company says that the new processors for client PCs deliver up to 50% higher performance amid lower power consumption than predecessors, which may make it more competitive against CPUs developed by leading designers.

Loongson's 3A5000/LS3A5000 processor is a quad-core CPU operating at 2.30 GHz – 2.50 GHz. The cores are superscalar, each core has four general-purpose ALUs and two 256-bit vector operations units, reports CnTechPost. The cores are based on the LoongArch GS464V instruction set architecture, which reportedly features almost 2,000 proprietary instructions. In addition to the base ISA, LoongArch supports binary conversion extension instructions (LBT), vector processing extension instructions (LSX), advanced vector processing extension instructions (LASX), and virtualization extension instructions. 

As far as performance is concerned, Loongson claims that its 3A5000/LS3A5000 CPU is over 50% faster than its predecessor LS3A4000 (probably when running software designed for LoongArch) and also consumes 30% less power. Keeping in mind that the LS3A4000 was on par with AMD's excavator, the new LS3A5000 will offer performance close to that of AMD's 1st generation Ryzen. The developer says that the new CPU hits fixed-point and floating-point single-core base scores of 26+ and quad-core scores of 80+ in SPEC CPU2006 when compiled using GCC. 

To cut down power consumption, the 3A5000 implements dynamic frequency, dynamic voltage regulation, and can dynamically shut down unused hardware.

(Image credit: CnTechPost)

The 3A5000 CPU features two DDR4-3200 memory controllers with ECC and four HyperTransport 3.0 controllers with coherency support to enable SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) capability. Like all Chinese processors, Loongson's 3A5000 chips support the country's encryption standards, such as SM2, SM3, and SM4 in hardware. 

Previously Loongson called its next-generation processors 'MIPS64-compatible,' which suggests that the new chips can still execute programs designed for the company's LoongISA architecture, which is a subset of the MIPS64 ISA. Meanwhile, GCC, LLVM, and GoLang compilers already support the LoongArch GS464V instruction set architecture. Also, the ISA is supported by several virtual machines.

Loongson's 3A5000 CPUs will be sold primarily to Chinese PC makers, so their pricing is unknown for now and will hardly be ever disclosed publicly. 

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.