China’s Loongson chips set to be on par with Ryzen 5000 in 2023 • The Register

China will get its hands on native processors next year that are said to be able to match the performance of AMD and Intel chips released in the last two years

According to a Chinese-language news report, Chinese semiconductor company Loongson recently announced that its next-generation Godson CPU, the 3A6000, is scheduled for customer testing in the first half of 2023. That means a launch could follow later in the year.

Previous reports have indicated that Loongson’s 3A6000 processor will reportedly offer performance on par with AMD’s Ryzen 5000 CPUs and Intel’s 11th-Gen Core CPUs, both of which debuted in 2020.

This expectation is based on Loongson simulation test results showing that the 3A6000 will improve single-core fixed-point performance by 37 percent and single-core floating-point performance by 68 percent over the previous-generation 3A5000, based on the 2006 SPEC-CPU benchmark As always, vendor claims should be viewed with caution, and a benchmark does not predict how a processor will perform in a variety of applications.

If the 3A6000’s performance is anything like Loongson’s claims, that means China is still quite lagging compared to the latest x86 processors from Intel and AMD, which released their latest Ryzen 7000 processors and 13th-Gen Core processors each this fall.

However, the performance figures also show how far China has progressed with processor technology based on the self-developed, MIPS-compatible LoongArch instruction set architecture. The company has previously claimed that its chips have circuitry that helps with emulation and binary translation of non-Loongson instruction sets like x86 and ARM, as we previously reported.

Hu Weiwu, chairman of Loongson, said last week that his company plans to build a software ecosystem that will allow Chinese users to run more applications on the LoongArch ISA natively, rather than relying on emulation or translation of other ISAs.

Homegrown chips are becoming increasingly important for China as the company grapples with a growing number of export restrictions imposed by the US. The latest limitations include a block for semiconductor devices that could be used to manufacture logic chips using a 16nm process or smaller, DRAM chips 18nm or smaller, and NAND flash with 128 or more layers. ® China’s Loongson chips set to be on par with Ryzen 5000 in 2023 • The Register

Rick Schindler

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