Made by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China’s first locally developed processor is known by many names. The Longxin (龙芯) or Dragon Chip as it’s called in China, is otherwise known as the Loongson.
Oddly enough, it’s been dubbed with the English name of — get this — Godson.
All the same, it’s possibly a fitting moniker for the potential savior that could deliver China’s tech reputation into the realm of respectability. There are also the implications that a home-grown processor will have on military technologies and national security, hence the funding and support from the Chinese government.
Can they compete with Intel’s performance? Hardly… But given the fact that AMD lost $611 million (check under the sofa cushions guys!) and has only $1.2 billion left in the piggy bank — well, it might be time for another player to jump on the CPU scene, no matter how small they might seem.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact that PC maker Zhongke has expressed interest in using the Godson, and has pitched the idea to the One Laptop Per Child ($100 Laptop) project.
In any case, making computers more affordable in China is certainly a positive step. In fact, a Sichuan PC maker has already released a 1000RMB desktop (which converts to about $130US). Godson seems to get along best with a Linux OS, which will cut costs even further since a non-pirated Windows purchase might require more cash than the PC itself! Indeed, with some exceptions, the Godson won’t even be able to run a Microsoft OS since it uses an instruction set based on MIPS.
The first Godson to enter the market is the Godson 2E, and the 2F or the Second Coming of Godson, is reportedly not far off…