Published in PC Hardware

Loongson and CXMT three years behind Intel

by on04 December 2023

And closing fast

Chinese chip houses Loongson and CXMT have been showing off some chips which should be putting the fear of the Middle Kingdom into Western chipmakers and the US government.

Loongson has created the 3A6000 processor, which uses its own LoongArch CPU instruction set that features MIPS and RISC-V architectures. The chip has four physical cores and can run eight hardware threads, includes a pair of DDR4 controllers, and runs between 2.0GHz and 2.5GHz, consuming 38 watts when flat out.

Loongson said its benchmarks place the 3A6000 on par with a comparable product from Intel's 10th-generation Core family, 2020. It is built on a 12/14nm process.

Loongson chair Hu Weiwu suggested the 3A6000 represents a platform that can, over time, match the performance achieved by rival CPU makers. He said more than 50 partners have developed products based on the chip, which has found its way into PCs, laptops, storage kit, network security equipment, and industrial control computers.

The CPU designer has already built an open-source software ecosystem for its products – including support in the Linux kernel.

While this sort of tech will not worry any Western chipmaker, they might be concerned at the speed that Loongson is catching up.

Chinese chipmaker CXMT has started making LPDDR5 memory placing it alongside the likes of Samsung, Micron, and SK Hynix as capable of meeting the spec. LPDDR5 is a standard, so CXMT's not stolen a march. But by announcing its 6GB and 12GB modules it is showing itself to be a power.

All this should be making the US attempts to keep China down in favour of western companies look silly. While it could be seen as buying time for the likes of Intel and AMD to get ahead of the race, embargos forced the Chinese to throw a lot of money into catching up.


Last modified on 05 December 2023
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