China reportedly is looking to build up its processor-making capabilities, with the hopes of using only China-built CPUs in its servers, most of which now rely on Intel, AMD and Nvidia.
Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, already seeing manufacturers of ARM-based
processors taking aim at the server space currently dominated by x86-based
systems, may soon have another competitor in the field: China.
to a recent report in the Chinese news service People's Daily Online, the
, currently at the top of the Top500 list of the world's
fastest supercomputers, may be the last system built in that country using
outside processors. The massive Tianhe-1A system uses 186,368 Xeon X5670 chips
from Intel and more than 2,000 Tesla graphics cores, and reaches a peak
performance of 4.7 petaflops (thousand trillion floating point operations per
scientists currently are working to build the Dawning 6000, its next
supercomputer, which will use 10,000 home-grown Loongson CPUs to reach about 1
petaflop of peak performance, according to a
report in HPCwire.com
. That system is expected to launch by the end of the
year. Loongson chips also are known as Godson processors.
to Chinese officials quoted in the People's Online Daily article, the goal is
that by the end of the year, the country will stop using foreign processors in
its supercomputers and rely solely on China-manufactured chips. According to
the report, the Institute of Computing Technology of CAS,
the Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology and the National University of
Defense Technology all are expected to be build Loongson-based systems in 2011.
to reports, Chinese officials for several years have been vocal about their
desire to build their own processors and to stop having to rely on those from
the likes of Intel, AMD and Nvidia.
a country's industry cannot always depend on foreign steel and oil, China's
information industry needs its own CPU," Hu Weiwu, the lead architect for
Loongson microprocessors, said in the People's Daily Online report.
said, it could be awhile before foreign processors are completely removed from
Chinese systems. According to the report, it will be another 10 years before
Chinese-built CPUs can meet the needs of the domestic market. However,
according to Hu Weiwu, China
eventually wants to compete with the dominant chip players of today.
after two decades, we will be able to sell our China-made CPUs to the U.S.
just like we are selling clothes and shoes," he said.
to a report on HotHardware.com
the Loongson chips that will be used in the Dawning 6000 will offer four cores
in a 10-watt power envelope. Eventually, the chip family will include
eight-core CPUs with a 20-watt envelope.
ambitions could be seen as yet another threat to the traditional server market,
of which Intel controls more than 80 percent, followed distantly by AMD.
However, as Intel looks to grow its reach beyond its traditional silicon
business, and as cloud computing and mobile devices change the computing
landscape, Intel and AMD are seeing a host
of new challengers, including from ARM-based
officials, whose designs power most mobile devices, including smartphones and
tablets, are building in more enterprise-level features with the idea of becoming
players in the data center
. A number of chip makers, including Marvell,
Nvidia and Calxeda
are looking to build ARM-based server
processors for such areas as cloud computing and Web serving, where
performance, energy efficiency and space savings are crucial.
a Webcast meeting with investors March 15 to discuss Intel's acquisition of
security software maker McAfee, Renee James, senior vice president and general
manager of Intel's Software and Services Group, said the company recognizes the
intent of ARM and its partners, but said
Intel enjoys the ability to interoperate with a wide range of devices and
operating systems, something that ARM may
not see in its move into the data center.
is no one thing," James said. "They are not always compatible."
technology on chips from Texas Instruments may not be the same thing as ARM
on Samsung chips, which could lead to compatibility issues, she said.