Loongson 3A6000: a star among Chinese CPUs

Computing power has emerged as a vital resource for economies around the world. China is no exception, and the country has invested heavily into domestic CPU capabilities. Loongson is at the forefront of that effort. We previously covered the company’s 3A5000 CPU, a quad core processor that delivered reasonable performance per clock, but clocked too low to be competitive.

Now, we’re going to look at Loongson’s newer 3A6000 CPU. The 3A6000 is also a quad core 2.5 GHz part, but uses the newer LA664 core. Compared to the 3A5000’s LA464 cores, LA664 is a major and ambitious evolution. While Loongson has kept the same general architecture, LA664 has a larger and deeper pipeline with more execution units. To sweeten the pie, LA664 gets SMT support. When properly implemented, SMT can increase multithreaded performance with minimal die area overhead. But SMT can be challenging to get right.

↫ Chips and Cheese

I’m always fascinated by China’s attempts at catching up to Intel and AMD, but at the same time, there’s no chance in hell I’d ever use any of it.


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