Monday, 29 January 2007

Chinas' own computer? What's next?

It seems that after several Linux distributions (Red Flag, OpenRays) the Chinese made another step on the road to build their own computer.
China's own computer, interesting thought. Let's make acquaintance with the hardware that can make this happen.
It is known under different names, Godson, Loongson, DragonChip. The first incarnation of it took place in 2002, designed and produced by CAS. At just 266MHz it was not an impressive achievement maybe, but it seems that the Moore law do not apply to the Chinese microprocessor industry. On average the power of the Chinese chip doubles every year, which is roughly four times of what Moore's law predicted. From Godson 1 to Godson 2B, the capability of the chip has tripled, and from Godson 2B to Godson 2C, from Godson 2C to Godson 2E, the capability has continuously tripled.
There is one more interesting fact about this chips, they are MIPS -like which attracts after itself the fact that products based on it are incapable of running M$ Windows. I said MIPS-like, because actually they are not called MIPS, they are a completely independent, proprietary core implementation.
Let's sum up a bit: For 5 years the Chinese are developing microprocessors, now being at the rough equivalent of Intel P4@1.3 GHz, but on pure 64 bit. They develop MIPS like CPUs, thus relying on Linux or other Unix like Operating Systems, which they already have (I just mentioned two better known variants, but there are many more). The mini computers built around this architecture now cost around 200$ a piece, but once in mass production I expect the prices to be a bit lower.
What's next?

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