EEtimes: Chinese processor ported to 65-nm, says Synopsys

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EETimes.com - Chinese processor ported to 65-nm, says Synopsys

LONDON — A Chinese home-grown microprocessor, sometimes called Godson and sometimes called Loongson, has been transferred to a 65-nm manufacturing process technology with help from EDA company Synopsys Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.).

Loongson Technology Co. Ltd., which is funded by the Institute of Computing Technologies of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, achieved first-pass silicon success for its 65-nanometer, multicore Loongson-3 CPU design, according to Synopsys.

Synopsys outlined the significance of its EDA tools in a press release but did not include details of when the tape-out had occurred, whether this was a four- or eight-core chip, or on whose 65-nm process the Loongson-3 chip was implemented. In 2007 an agreement was reached for Loongson chips to be manufactured and marketed by STMicroelectronics NV

Plans had called for Loongson-3 silicon to be produced in 2009 and China hopes to build a petaflops computer based on the chip in 2010. The 65-nm device should be able to run at a clock frequency of between 1.0-GHz and 1.2-GHz with four CPU cores (10W) first and eight cores (20W) later. The four-core version of the Godson-3 was scheduled to tape out before the 2008 with the eight-core version due to tape out in 2009 (see China readies first multicore Godson CPUs).

"The gigahertz clock speed and multicore architecture of the Loongson-3 CPU required precise timing and power simulation to verify its aggressive design targets," said Dr. Hu Wei Wu, principal scientist and program manager of the Loongson project, in the statement issued by Synopsys.

The Loongson/Godson is based on the MIPS instruction set. Development started prior to 2002. MIPS Technologies Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) announced in 2009 that the Institute of Computing Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences had licensed the MIPS32 and MIPS64 architectures to allow it to develop and commercialize its Loongson family of processors.

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tarunraju

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Good effort, but when foundry companies such as TSMC are ready with 40 nm (bulk), 45 nm (SOI), and 45 nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) in development, not good enough. Afterall, going to these 40/45 nm fab processes will only make the chips even cheaper to produce, cooler, and consume lesser power. Intel is ready with 32 nm, which is even better.
 

prahladh

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achieved first-pass silicon success for its 65-nanometer, multicore Loongson-3 CPU design, according to Synopsys.
Great effort and acheivement considering they got a first pass at 65nm tech. It wouldn't be tough for them to go for 45nm, since almost similar design/layout challenges will be faced.
 

tarunraju

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Great effort and acheivement considering they got a first pass at 65nm tech. It wouldn't be tough for them to go for 45nm, since almost similar design/layout challenges will be faced.
I think earlier Loongson designs were fabbed on 90 nm, so it does have a development history to back it. Though I agree, optical shrinking of something isn't that easy.
 

prahladh

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Its not easy but if they have a working 65nm chip then 45nm wouldn't be a big deal. I wonder what they meant by "transferred to a 65-nm". May be they used EDA tools to port design/Layout to 65nm or just redesigned the whole thing for 65.
 

tarunraju

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Its not easy but if they have a working 65nm chip then 45nm wouldn't be a big deal. I wonder what they meant by "transferred to a 65-nm". May be they used EDA tools to port design/Layout to 65nm or just redesigned the whole thing for 65.
Whenever you come across "transferred to" or "ported to" a new silicon fabrication process, it means that the design is not native to that fab process, and has been simply miniaturized or "optically shrunk" to that process. That allows the designers to get higher yields per wafer (since there will be more chips "dice" per wafer).

Like I said, Loongson has been in development for a while, it seems to have been ported from 90 nm to 65 nm.
 

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