Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Sep 2008 08:52 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems When China launched its first microprocessor, the Godson 1 in 2002, it wasn't much of a competitor to what Intel and AMD had to offer. The 64bit Godson 2, released in 2005, still didn't worry the Western chip makers, but the chip did start to pop up here and there outside of China. Expect to see a lot more of them in the coming years, as the Godson 3 promises to be a chip that can compete head on with the big ones: quad-core, eight core version in the pipeline, and 200 extra instructions aiding in x86 compatibility.
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psychicist
Member since:
2007-01-27

That's exactly what it's all about. I've been working with the main vendor of Loongson based computer systems ever since I heard about the release of the first systems one and a half years ago.

Suffice it to say that many companies and individuals (including me) both inside and outside of China have been working very hard to get all software ported over to the Loongson processor.

That's because it's finally a credible alternative to the complete dominance of the computer landscape by Intel and Microsoft that would otherwise be the case, not only for China but the world at large.

In a way it's about breaking Intel's monopoly on microprocessors the same way GNU/Linux has broken MS Windows' dominance in operating systems. GNU/Linux runs on many architectures, it's just closed source that doesn't because of its inherent limitations.

That's not a reason or excuse to keep an otherwise very good operating system from being used on desktops and notebooks based on non-x86 platforms. You simply can't take closed source software into account during the development of a free operating system, only make it work as well as is realistically possible.

Getting x86 software for Windows and Linux to work on these processors is nothing but an afterthought. That may be hard to believe for some people but it's what's necessary to make a clean break from the past and take matters into your own hands.

I hope a European alternative will be established too, possibly based on the ARM Cortex A9 architecture. If people really believe in free market principles the additional competition should only be encouraged in a market that's been dominated by a few proprietary companies for far too long.

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