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china: a new processor for a new market-网上捕鱼网络版

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china: a new processor for a new market

发布时间:2010-07-05    已阅读:次

china represents a huge, and still largely untapped, market for computer makers: in a country of 1.3 billion people, only 40 million computers were bought in 2008, when the 300 million people living in the united states bought 66 million. as chinese incomes rise and computer ownership grows, chip makers that establish themselves now will reap vast profits and dominate the market for years. currently, china depends on intel, arm, and other western companies for the cpus that power its digital infrastructure, but the chinese government is determined that a homegrown alternative will share in the spoils.

china's ambitions hang on a state-­sponsored project, started in 2001 at the institute of computing technology in beijing, aimed at developing a family of indigenous processors that can be used in everything from cheap netbooks to supercomputers. to save costs, the chips are made using older silicon technologies and are based on an architecture invented in 1981 and owned by mips technologies, based in sunnyvale, ca. china chose to license an existing architecture because creating a new one would have meant re­inventing the extensive software libraries that programmers need to create applications, not to mention educating the programmers themselves. the chinese have surrounded the basic mips design with their own subsystems, adding instructions in recent versions so that the chips can run software written for the x86 processors that intel and amd make for personal computers.

the chips are commercially manufactured outside china by geneva-based stmicroelectronics (see "companies to watch") under the trade name loongson. they already appear in cheap netbooks and desktop pcs. if china succeeds in making loongson chips an alternative to intel- and amd-based systems in its emerging market, the implications could be felt throughout the developing world, with its billions of potential customers, for decades to come.

(译文)

中国目前已经是世界上颇具规模的计算机市场,同时拥有巨大的潜力:一个13亿人口的国家在2008年仅消费了4000万台电脑,形成鲜明对照的是,拥有3亿人口的美国却卖出了6600万台电脑。随着中国人的收入的不断提高,电脑拥有率的不断上升,现有的电脑芯片处理器制造商们将从现在开始收获巨大的利润并将在今后的数年内坐享这个市场。目前中国的数字产业建立在英特尔,amd 和其他的西方公司提供的cpu基础之上,但中国政府决心培育本土的芯片制造商来争夺这一市场。

中国政府这一计划起始于2001年的一个政府资助的项目,由位于北京的中国科学院计算机研究所承担,研发既能够应用于超级计算机又能支持低端的笔记本电脑所用的一系列芯片处理器。为了节省开发成本,中国科学院计算机研究所引进了型号比较老旧的,由美国加州mips技术公司于1981年开发的芯片技术。中国的开发者们选择使用这个已有的架构是因为如果重新开发一个全新的系统意味着需要重新开发各种配套软件,更需要培训大量的软件开发人员。中国人围绕基础mips架构开发了大量自己的子系统,在新近版本中增加指令使芯片能够运行英特尔和amd在他们个人电脑中用x86处理器写入的程序。

这款芯片的生产在中国境外,由总部位于日内瓦的意法半导体公司生产,使用龙芯(loongson)名称。目前,龙芯处理器已经使用于经济型笔记本电脑和台式机中。如果中国能够成功地使龙芯处理器成为在新兴市场中intel 和amd的替代品,他的应用将在广大的发展中国家中铺开,在未来几十年中将拥有几十亿潜在消费者。


“龙梦”笔记本电脑产于中国常熟,装载的是900赫兹的龙芯芯片,运行linux操作系统。