China to use Godson processors in supercomputers
On March 6, Hu Weiwu, chief designer of Godson microprocessor series, said that the first "Dawning 6000" supercomputer with China-made CPUs will be installed by this summer. Dawning 6000 system is a combined effort of Chinese Academy of Science and Dawning Information Industry Company, and it will utilize homegrown Godson (Loongson) processors. Two other Chinese supercomputer designs, Shenwei and Yinhe, developed by Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology and National University of Defense Technology respectively, will switch to China-made CPUs by the end of this year.
China started development of Godson CPUs in 2001. The first generation, dubbed Loongson 1, was launched in 2002, and had 32-bit RISC core running at 200 - 266 MHz. Over the years the series has improved tremendously. The latest Godson processor, Godson 3B, is built on 65nm technology, and feature 4 CPU cores, clocked at 1 GHz, 4 MB level 2 cache, shared between all cores, and low, less than 15 Watt, power consumption. The chip integrates 2 DDR2/DDR3 memory controllers and 2 HyperTrasport controllers, as well as a number of on-chip peripherals. Upcoming version of Godson CPU, called Godson 3B, will have 8 CPU cores with 64-bit instruction support, and consume less that 40 Watt of power. One of the distinctive features of this CPU will be 200 instructions used for emulation of x86 instruction set. The production of Godson (Loongson) 3B chip will start around September. Another Godson 3 version, 16-core Godson 3C, is planned for 2012. It was previously reported that the Dawning supercomputer will utilize Godson 3C parts, although, based on the timing of the Dawning 6000 announcement, it may use Godson/Loonson 3B processors at first.
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