Chipmaker claims its upcoming CPUs will feature similar IPC performance to AMD's Zen 3

Tudor Cibean

Posts: 143   +9
Staff
The big picture: Loongson is supposedly just three years behind its Western competitors when it comes to the IPC performance of its CPUs. While impressive, their use of outdated process nodes means they can't keep up with the clock rates of AMD and Intel chips, making real-world performance lag even further behind.

Last week, Chinese CPU developer Loongson started shipping its 3C5000L server processor. It features 16 cores, a clock rate of up to 2.2 GHz, and utilizes a 12 nm process node.

The company claims the CPU can deliver up to 560 GFLOPS of compute performance at 130W without providing any other benchmark numbers. Loongson's 5000-series processors use its proprietary LoongArch ISA, although they're also compatible with MIPS to maintain support for applications written for its previous-generation processors.

The chipmaker did publish some performance numbers for its 3A5000 CPU running at 2.5 GHz, claiming it delivers similar single-threaded performance in UnixBench to an Intel 10th-gen Core i7 10700. However, multi-threaded performance is significantly lower, as the 3A5000 only features four cores.

Loongson plans to use a new LA664 architecture for its upcoming 6000-series processors to increase efficiency, supposedly putting their IPC performance on par with AMD's Zen 3 architecture. The company expects to launch its 16-core 3C6000 and 32-core 3D6000 in 2023 or 2024.

While that does sound impressive, Loongson's chips will probably still be limited to the sub-3 GHz range, meaning real-world performance will be significantly lower.

The company is also planning to introduce a 64-core variant with its 7000-series chips. These will keep using the LA664 architecture, although they will probably switch to a newer process node, increasing their efficiency further.

It'll be interesting to see if Russia starts using Loongson's CPUs more in its infrastructure. The country might have no choice considering recent sanctions, at least until it develops its domestic chip production capabilities more.

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defaultluser

Posts: 477   +366
Why should anyone care about a mips64 CPU when arm is already unstoppable in the server room? Its simply posturing to claim to be in the same company as Zen 3!
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,218   +4,271
Why should anyone care about a mips64 CPU when arm is already unstoppable in the server room? Its simply posturing to claim to be in the same company as Zen 3!

Geopolitics mostly: Tensions with China are at an all time high regarding China openly putting forward the idea of taking over Taiwan and going to war over it, probably with a coalition of US or US backed interests in the region. And well you probably know the situation with Russia right now.

So on the one hand you have the more basic but extremely strategic and dangerous uses of tech like maintaining infrastructure, specially military infrastructure.

But there's also negating the west this strategic advantage: This chip might not look like much but it would be super welcome if say at the same time China is producing capable CPUs on their own, they also completely halt production in Taiwan due to an invasion: even just a week or 2 of disruption to a company like TSMC might send prices into the stratosphere but an actual war over Taiwan that doesn't gets resolved immediately would likely take the west into the dark ages and guess what? Many more nations would risk the ire of the west if China was offering 3 to 5 year old tech CPUs for sale while the west if it had any chips left would be charging prices so outrageous they'd be out of reach again, for extremely important stuff like systems that maintain infrastructure so people having stuff like medicine, running water, electricity, functioning banking all depend on having a steady flow of sillicon.
 

Revolution 11

Posts: 183   +235
Geopolitics mostly: Tensions with China are at an all time high regarding China openly putting forward the idea of taking over Taiwan and going to war over it, probably with a coalition of US or US backed interests in the region. And well you probably know the situation with Russia right now.

So on the one hand you have the more basic but extremely strategic and dangerous uses of tech like maintaining infrastructure, specially military infrastructure.

But there's also negating the west this strategic advantage: This chip might not look like much but it would be super welcome if say at the same time China is producing capable CPUs on their own, they also completely halt production in Taiwan due to an invasion: even just a week or 2 of disruption to a company like TSMC might send prices into the stratosphere but an actual war over Taiwan that doesn't gets resolved immediately would likely take the west into the dark ages and guess what? Many more nations would risk the ire of the west if China was offering 3 to 5 year old tech CPUs for sale while the west if it had any chips left would be charging prices so outrageous they'd be out of reach again, for extremely important stuff like systems that maintain infrastructure so people having stuff like medicine, running water, electricity, functioning banking all depend on having a steady flow of sillicon.
Agreed, although this tactic has a time limit. Fabs are already going up in North America and Europe in the 2024/2025 time frame (more fabs going up in Japan and South Korea as well). The maximum effectiveness of using chips as a weapon during the Taiwan invasion would be before 2025 ends.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,218   +4,271
Agreed, although this tactic has a time limit. Fabs are already going up in North America and Europe in the 2024/2025 time frame (more fabs going up in Japan and South Korea as well). The maximum effectiveness of using chips as a weapon during the Taiwan invasion would be before 2025 ends.

It's also on levels: fabs in the US and Europe will solve *some* of the dependency issues for sure, but mostly for the biggest pockets first so Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon all with custom silicon are likely to take a very significant chunk of the capacity on the new fabs while consumer electronics might not be migrated with the same kind of priority meaning that it would impact regular people quite a bit. So not the extremely dire scenario I painted about key infrastructure suffering but certainly the potential for a significant economical recession would still be on the table, just not a breakdown or stand still.