The Chinese government has reportedly banned the export of Loongson CPUs based on the LoongArch microarchitecture to Russia and other countries. For some Russian companies, Loongson chips were a potential replacement for x86 processors from AMD and Intel. These he two company partners stopped shipping these CPUs to Russia via other countries.
No Loongson for non-Chinese buyers?
A source close to Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media and a source familiar with the local high-tech industry said. Kommersant Business Daily reports that the Chinese government has banned the export of Loongson processors with the LoongArch microarchitecture to other countries. This won’t have an immediate impact on the local market, but it could leave Russia with no alternatives to processors from AMD and Intel.
“The Russian company does not rely heavily on the supply of Chinese processors, but wanted to switch to Loongson solutions in case ‘parallel imports’ were blocked,” the sources said. explained to “the best [Loongson CPUs] It is used by the Chinese military-industrial complex and this is the main reason why it is not available in foreign markets. ”
Kommersant acknowledges that the Chinese government and Loongson have yet to officially restrict the export of LoongArch-based CPUs. It’s still possible to get Loongson LS3A5000 based systems and motherboards from AliExpress today, but these parts are pretty expensive. Given that Loongson CPUs are significantly underperforming compared to AMD and Intel processors, it’s hard to imagine these offerings gaining momentum anywhere outside of China.
LoongArch for China
For quite some time, some Russian companies have been looking for alternatives to x86 processors, computing GPUs of American developers. After Russia invaded Ukraine in late February 2021, AMD, Intel and Nvidia suspended operations in the country and stopped selling CPUs and GPUs to Russian companies. Gray imports of CPUs and GPUs are currently booming in Russia, but at some point they may be stopped or drastically reduced, leaving the country without significant technology.
At that point, the Chinese “alternative” will be the only option, at least for some Russian PC and server makers. But the Chinese government doesn’t seem to want Loongson chips to replace AMD or Intel — neither in Russia nor elsewhere.
Maxim Koposov, CEO of Russian PC maker Prombit, said: attempted to use a non-x86 processor on the system.
Loongson has two CPU models based on the LoongArch microarchitecture. Quad-core LS 3A5000 series processors for client PCs and 16-core LS 3C5000 series chips for servers. These CPUs use his LA464 core, which can run code written for Loongson’s previous generation of processors, which featured the LoongISA microarchitecture, a custom subset of the MIPS64 architecture. Meanwhile, the latest core also includes 2,000 LoongArch-specific instructions, binary translation extensions (LBT), vector processing extensions (LSX), advanced vector processing extensions (LASX), and virtualization extensions (LVZ). It is
The Chinese government may not want other countries to learn how to use LoongArch. Another reason the Chinese government doesn’t want to export his Loongson CPUs is because SMIC manufactures them on his 12nm class manufacturing process. Given SMIC’s limited 12nm/14nm capacity, China may just want to keep all the processors it can get for its own projects. Some of his Loongson chips may ship from AliExpress, but these CPUs will never be officially sold to customers in Russia or other countries.