China Chip Advances

Loongson Chips May Compete with Intel Soon | The country's first homegrown microprocessor could be used in Internet servers and routers.
        The processors at the heart of computers and mobile devices today come in two basic flavors: Intel- and ARM-compatible. But since 2002 the Chinese Academy of Sciences has been working in a public-private partnership, BLX IC Design Corporation, to establish and third type of processor—designed and made in China. Early next year, the latest fruit of that project will be unveiled, reports ComputerWorld, a new chip in a family of designs known as Loongson that is intended to drive PCs, servers and supercomputers.

The latest chip, the Godson-3B1500, is said to have twice as many transistors on a chip the same size as its predecessor, launched in 2011, and to be 35 percent more power efficient. Earlier versions of the Godson chip family were used as the basis of the chips for China’s first fully domestically built supercomputer.

Despite that progress, Loongson chips are still far behind Intel’s technologically. The chip to be launched next year is made using a process that carves features as small as 32 nanometers into a chip, but Intel already sells processors with features as small as 22 nanometers. Loongson chips are also incompatible with Microsoft’s Windows operating system, which many consumers in China as elsewhere find synonymous with desktop computing. Read More :