China selects a standard of national processor


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The Chinese Government, as the resource EE Times, is currently engaged in an attempt to define a national standard for architecture processors. If everything goes without problems, the emergence of a standard that can be expected in the next few months, according to vice president of MIPS Technologies, Robert Bismuth (Robert Bismuth) can lead to significant changes in the computer industry’s most populous country in the world, as well as affect the how to conduct the business of international companies in China.

Officials from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China gathered at the first meeting of the China National Instruction Set Architecture in March, where they were joined by about 20 Chinese companies. Huawei, ZTE, and many other Chinese electronics manufacturers have been presented at the meeting, along with various research groups engaged in the development of chips.

China selects a standard of national processor

Chinese netbook Lemote on the basis of Linux and CPU Loongson (MIPS)

Among the main topics of discussion at the meeting raised the question of the possibility of developing a standard instruction set architecture (ISA), is specific to China. The Government is considering the restriction on funding development projects to only those chips that would apply such a standard. In China, government funding has played a very important role in almost every sphere of the economy. Therefore, the agreement on implementing the new standard ISA can significantly affect the Chinese economy.Moreover, given the increasing attractiveness of the Chinese consumer market for international corporations, any new mass standard CPU can have a significant impact on the global electronics industry.
China selects a standard of national processor
Development of a new Chinese standard ISA is still at the proposal stage. The problem is that this is a risky way, because such a standard may be outdated and useless to anyone at the time of implementation. There are other ways of development. For example, consider the possibility of buying the company MIPS, which is going through hard times – this is an interesting option, especially since China already has a chip developments and working with the architecture of MIPS. Chips Loongson (or Godson), used in the government sector, based on the architect MIPS. Observers estimate the mixed success of China in this field. While MIPS does not belong to China, many worried about an uncertain future of this company, which may eventually be closed, having sold their patents and development. It is reported that China may raise as a partner in an existing chip design (for example, ARM or IBM Power PC) to work on a new standard or an existing development.

China selects a standard of national processor

Chip Loongson ( Eyoka )

For many electronics manufacturers in China, nuclear licensing ARM – too expensive (eg, license Cortex A9 is worth at least $ 5 million), but because they want a cheaper alternative. By the way, the president of ARM Tudor Brown (Tudor Brown) has expressed skepticism about China’s plans to develop its own processor architecture. “We are , of course , in the course of this initiative It is not new and is discussedalready many months We understand the desire of China to have its own ISA and continue to cooperate and negotiate with key people on this issue, in order to find a good solution. The problem itself is not in the ISA, and the ecosystem that surrounds the ISA, - he said, pointing to the huge size of the ecosystem of ARM. While the development of ISA is relatively short-term business, the creation and deployment ecosystem takes much longer. “ In fact, ARM has achieved impressive success in the mobile market, where it dominates. In addition, more than 34 companies in China are licensed to manufacture chips ARM, whereas for MIPS, for example, just over 20 licensees in China.

China selects a standard of national processor

Team Loongson- 3 ( Top500 )

As a permanent subject of allegations of violations of intellectual property rights, China has in recent years, seeks to create your own portfolio of technologies, which would put the country on an equal position with foreign companies. For example, unfolds its own system for satellite positioning BeiDou, and the creation of its own processor architecture may be another step designed to reduce China’s dependence on foreign technologies.

This is a very difficult task, given the fact that in the PC architecture is dominated by x86, and in the mobile sector reigns ARM, and move them from this position, even in China alone will be extremely difficult. However, the Chinese government wants to create a single software ecosystem of the country, and for this there is only one way – the country’s adoption of a common architecture of ISA.

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