The China Chip Advances—and May Compete with Intel Soon
The processors at the heart of computers and mobile devices today come in two basic flavors: Intel- and ARM-compatible. But since 2002 the Chinese Academy of Sciences has been working in a public-private partnership, BLX IC Design Corporation, to establish a third type of processor—designed and made in China. Early next year, the latest fruit of that project will be unveiled, reports ComputerWorld—a new chip in a family of designs known as Loongson that is intended to drive PCs, servers, and supercomputers.
The latest chip, the Godson-3B1500, is the same size as its predecessor, launched in 2011, but is said to have twice as many transistors and to be 35 percent more power efficient. Earlier members of the Godson chip family were used as the basis of the chips for China’s first fully domestically built supercomputer.
Despite that progress, Loongson chips are still far behind Intel’s technologically. The chip to be launched next year is made using a process that creates features as small as 32 nanometers, but Intel already sells processors with features as small as 22 nanometers. Loongson chips are also incompatible with Microsoft’s Windows operating system, which many consumers in China and elsewhere find synonymous with desktop computing.
However, China’s chips may have a significant impact on Intel and the world in general in an area of computing where Windows isn’t so critical. That’s because Godson chips could ease the adoption of Internet-centric computing in China and other developing nations by cutting the cost of the the servers that underpin Internet and cloud services.
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it
The narrative around cheating students doesn’t tell the whole story. Meet the teachers who think generative AI could actually make learning better.
Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives
The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.
Learning to code isn’t enough
Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.