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Chinese Chip Closes In on Intel, Amd


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Loongson-powered netbook

Lemote is one of a handful of companies manufacturing Loongson-powered Netbooks, mostly for the Chinese market.

c.j.b / Flickr

At this year's Hot Chips conference at Stanford University, Weiwu Hu, the lead architect of the "national processor" of China, revealed three new chip designs. One of them could enable China to build a homegrown supercomputer to rank in a prestigious list of the world's fastest machines.

The Loongson processor family (known in China by the name Godson), is now in its sixth generation. The latest designs consist of the one-gigahertz, eight-core Godson 3B, the more powerful 16-core, Godson 3C (with a speed that is currently unknown), and the smaller, lower-power one-gigahertz Godson 2H, intended for netbooks and other mobile devices. The Godson 3B will be commercially available in 2011, as will the Godson 2H, but the Godson 3C won't debut until 2012.

According to Tom Halfhill, industry analyst and editor of Microprocessor Report, the eight-core Godson 3B will still be significantly less powerful than Intel best chip, the six-core Xeon processor. It will be able to perform roughly 30 percent fewer mathematical calculations per second. Intel's forthcoming Sandy Bridge processor and AMD's Bulldozer processor will widen the gap between chips designed by American companies and the Godson 3B.

From Technology Review
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