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China to ­nveil Homebrewed Chip in 2013

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Godson-3B processor diagram

Diagram of the Godson-3B eight-core MIPS processor.

Longsoon Technology, which is partly funded by the Chinese Academy of Science, will share details about its Godson eight-core processor at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in February. The new Godson processor has a clock speed of 1.35 gigahertz and provides 172.8 gigaflops of performance while drawing 40 watts of power. However, the Godson cores are based on a MIPS64 central-processing unit (CPU) instruction set, and do not support the Windows operating system, and instead run variants of Linux.

"Just like a country's industry cannot always depend on foreign steel and oil, China's information industry needs its own CPU," says National People's Congress deputy Hu Weiwu.

However, Intel's Rajeeb Hazra notes that although the effort to develop domestic chips may facilitate China's academic community, it might not be the best strategy if China wants to be a world technology leader. "Our goal is to demonstrate that for countries that may be contemplating that path, it's in their best interest, the best economic interest, to actually work with us and help us understand what they need rather than having to do something that is purely driven by a nationalistic boundary as opposed to more pure technology goals," Hazra says.

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