Published in the latest issue of the end of June TOP500 Supercomputer list, divinity Taihu light of China's low-key squeezed under the Milky Way No. 2 Pa Six brothers, be the first theoretical performance of up to 10 quadrillion times Supercomputer, before Tianhe No. 2 moving forward to maintain the performance of an order of magnitude, the world's first super promotion new operator. With the light of Taihu Lake is actually just the first honor, the ultra-count the number of the TOP500 list of China surpassed the United States the previous overlord, super computing applications also achieved a breakthrough in three decades, more importantly, Taihu Lake is light using a computer processor made in China, no longer is Intel's Xeon processors.
Domestic processors "instead of" Intel, AMD processor and other international companies have been national strategies and dreams, and now can be considered truly realize their dreams on the light Taihu computer, but the original news reports I have seen many people review domestic criticism processor (although most negative light Taihu people just vent their emotions, negative energy only), this problem is also an important factor in the development of domestic processors, because of the lack of ecosystem, China is also developing its own processor can only be "feeling the stones", the stone is foreign has developed a processor instruction set, but this route is very easy to know the truth onlookers taunt - have used someone else's instruction set, and how has dare to call independent property rights?
For this problem, the architect Dr. Weiwu ago Godson processors also explained: "We can do CPU is the world's first, but also, the key is not available, users do not have you." Software ecosystem of reality determines domestic processor can not start from zero research and development in this regard Japan 80--90 year plan developed by TRON common OS, CPU but ultimately failed example can be said to be a lesson, but the C919 large aircraft such international division of labor pattern likely to be successful .
R & D processors, since our goal is to "cross the river", in order to secure, security, feeling the stones carefully explore is feasible, and China on the processor can be said that the development of river stones are touched over and over, from X86 to ARM MIPS and then there is a small minority of SPARC, Alpha or Itanium architecture, almost all domestic tried.
Today's super class, we will take a brief look at the instruction set architecture and technical sources of domestic processors. According to public sources, they could find a representative domestic Godson processor solutions mainly, Shen Wei, Zhao core, soar, Terawins and smartphone / tablet development field the best Hass, exhibition news, Chi, etc., they used in architecture relates to X86, ARM, MIPS, Power and SPARC, Alpha, etc., as shown below:
Common processor instruction set architecture and domestic sources (click to enlarge)
· Godson: a pure Chinese core business of unsatisfactory
Godson is not the first domestic processors, nor the most successful domestic processors, but referred to the domestic processor, it first thought is probably the Godson, and it is the highest exposure of domestic processors, and considering that it is Chinese Academy of Sciences developed the computer, its origin authenticity more likely to be representative of the domestic processors.
Godson group was established in 2001, but the official date of birth of the Godson processor is August 10, 2002, under the leadership of Li Guojie, director of computing, the father of Dr. Hu Weiwu Godson and his team came up with Godson-1 treatment is, when he wrote, "our Godson-1," the article describes the Godson development process, then Xiao Bian also read this article, remember that the Chinese Godson code-named "dog left", from the Chinese people "Lai were good feed," the custom, but can also be seen in the team for the future, although there are expectations Godson processor, but then it should be very worried about the future development of this project, but the Godson English name is very tall on the - godson, the Son of God!
Godson born to withstand the independent research and development reputation, but was soon broke Godson instruction set is actually derived from MIPS, that is to say bought, which allows Godson instantly condemned, R & D team is also burdened the infamy and pressure, Dr. Weiwu also explained why choose MIPS instruction set, said earlier "users do not you" is the root cause of a software ecosystem for self Academy this academic unit is an impossible task.
Godson second question is that they chose the MIPS instruction set rather than the current ubiquitous ARM instruction set, but back in time to the 2000s (Godson project development times possible earlier), when the ARM can not now this like strong, while MIPS at universities, research units have a good foundation, team chose MIPS Godson forgiven.
Anyway, this project considered Godson survived from the initial to the current 1 Godson Godson 3 has been developed for three generations, and each generation has in fact derived from a number of versions, from the single-core, dual-core to quad-core, eight-core, from 180nm to 28nm process technology, dual emission from emission to four Godson processor architecture, specifications, frequency, performance is in progress, called Godson 3B2000 even reached the level of performance of Intel Ivy Bridge processor, the instruction set is already far beyond the scope of MIPS, adding a lot of homegrown Godson team instruction, than the previous product increased by more than 500 custom Godson extension instruction can be used to achieve other major instruction set compatible binary translation, additional storage access, and I / O efficiency is also greatly improved, another point is the hardware and software will remain backwards compatible.
But not without groove Godson point, most of the Godson processors actually live in the Chinese Academy of Sciences to the outside of the booth to demonstrate results, despite years we expect to hold Godson, Chinese Academy of Sciences and even its participation in the establishment of the Group of Jiangsu Menglan Kelon dream companies to accelerate commercialization, also launched Ling Long / Fu Long / Yi Long desktops, laptops and other products, but these products are mostly short-lived, performance can not reach the mainstream level, soon to be forgotten.
· Shen Wei / FT: The Secret of the most successful domestic processors, military weapons
Shen Wei and soar despite the processor selected different routes, but to put these two together to say, because the two behind a military background, Shen Wei processor is Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology R & D, which is Fifty-sixth General Staff of the Institute, it has a name of high-performance integrated circuit design center in Shanghai, and Tianjin's National Defense Science is soar. In addition, we have previously reported that a company called Phytium Hotchips 2015 at last year's meeting launched a code-named Mars (Mars) multi-core processors, the company is Guangzhou soar, is also said to Guofangkeda subordinates, but with the R & D FT FT FT processor Tianjin are not a unit.
Back to the topic, the Jiangnan Computer Technology Research where seniority is old, but in the processor instruction set their choice looks a little non-mainstream --DEC's Alpha 21264 instruction set, technically Alpha has unique, DEC then also all-powerful in the processor market, AMD's K7 architecture there is some technology from the Alpha architecture, the incoming CEO Dirk Meyer (Dirk Meyer) came from DEC's on AMD, the parent leave to resign last year, Zen architecture of jim Keller has developed in the DEC Alpha architecture.
DEC's now vanished long ago, the company sold several times, after Microsoft Win2000 also dropped support for Alpha architecture, Alpha architecture is already no longer updated, and a patent has expired, this may be selected Alpha architecture of southern Reasons one. 2011 Supercomputer Center in Jinan divinity blue deployed, it uses a processor core is divinity SW1600,16 now we believe that the information it is based on patents have expired DEC ALPHA 21164A EV-56 architecture.
Shen Wei SW26010 processor core 260
The divinity SW26010 processor Taihu Lake Jiangnan light is developed, although it is still anyone's guess Alpha instruction set, but with the subsequent Godson architecture is similar SW26010 Shen Wei architecture, instruction set has far exceeded the previous category, He added a lot of new instructions. This SW26010 is 260 Core many-core architecture, out of order execution architecture, frequency 1.45GHz, the entire processor includes four MPE (Management Processing Element) snap-in, four CPE (Computing Processing Element) calculation unit and four MC memory controller unit, of which the CPE unit and consists of 64 core 8x8 array composition, so a total of 260 core (4x64 + 4 = 260).
Compared to other domestic processors Shen Wei is completely tied to the performance at the forefront, in front of all the world, floating point performance theory SW26010 up 3TFLOPS, its performance fully acceleration and Inel latest Xeon Phi a fight card. But the inadequacies of Shen Wei processor that memory systems, optical performance of Taihu Lake No. 2 three times to reach the Milky Way, while the total memory instead of from 1.4PB reduced to 1.31PB, each node uses four 128bit DDR3-2133 memory, bandwidth of 136GB / s, this is not as good as Intel's Xeon Phi accelerator card, which itself incorporates 16GB eDRAM cache bandwidth of more than 500GB / s, and the early support DDR4 memory.
And then for the next soar, soar Tianjin R & D FT processor family also had a field of HPC applications, but soar FT processor architecture with more clutter, from the public point of view of the first-generation FT processor compatible with the Intel Itanium 2 instruction set the second-generation FT-64 processors have been using the computer in the Milky Way, third generation FT-1000 is based on open source UltraSPARC architecture, 8-core, 64 threads on the nodes of the network computer Tianhe-1 has a use.
After the FT-1500 is based on the SPARC architecture, process technology from 65nm to upgrade to 40nm, 16 core 128 threads used in the Milky Way No. 2 Supercomputer in the 4096 FT-1500 processor as the front-end processor node.
The latest FT-1500A Although similar name with the above, but in fact no relationship, because its architecture becomes a ARM 64 bit using a 28nm process. According to Gu Hong, general manager of Tianjin soar, FT-1500A series processors are 64-bit general-purpose CPU, instruction set compatible ARM V8, the use of advanced 28nm process flow sheet, high performance, low power consumption, leading key technology , enabling an alternative to Intel in the high-end "Xeon" chip, and is widely used among government offices and financial, tax and other industry information systems.
Whether or soar Shen Wei, the two military background of domestic processor unit because targeted, it can be said that domestic processors to do the most successful - regardless of performance or has a unique architectural design, Shen Wei processing not only hardware development, also the compiler and the Linux operating system (divinity Koch) made on innovation, the light of Taihu Lake has three shortlisted applications Gordon Bell Prize, which is also thanks to the southern location of Supercomputer applications efforts.
· Sheng Terawins: leveraging Big Blue IBM, Power Architecture can hold up one day?
A general purpose processor architecture also flourishing, Intel faces competition from the year than it is now much more, but now X86 almost dominate the world, sorted Intel company less competitive, as strong as the IBM Power architecture, which has had a company nor , they simply open alliance established in 2013 OpenPower joint NVIDIA, Tyan computer and other companies, other companies can also get Power architecture license. Thereafter in 2014, also promoted the establishment of China Ecological Union POWER technology industry, IBM and a number of Chinese companies signed a licensing agreement, Sheng Wang is one of a core.
IBM's Power architecture became domestic processors hope
Sheng Terawins founded in 2013, is the sponsor before the river Menglan Group, Jiangsu Sheng Ji, Suzhou Ventures Group, Chinese Academy of Sciences said Menglan Groups of companies, the latter two can be said that the government of Jiangsu representatives, and therefore Sheng Terawins get Power architecture technology is supported by the Ministry of Industry and Jiangsu government, the institute calculated, and the calculation even sent a technical team, if everything can be in accordance with a predetermined introduction, digestion, absorption, Sheng Terawins Power should be introduced localization processor in 2019.
But it did not, although Sheng Terawins soon launch CP1 processor, but only IBM Power 8 processor vest only, no other company digestion technology Power, they Wages sudden storm, Chinese Academy of Sciences sent technical staff unable to pay wages, then the company has been unrest, changes in shareholders, who are also frequent fluctuations hope Sheng Terawins promote Power architecture localization is no hope.
In addition, IBM's Power architecture in the domestic banking industry has an important key applications, and powerful Power processor performance, is a good thing, but you really want to digest the introduction did not so easy to Power 8 architecture, for example, it is 12 core 96 thread , the core area of 650mm2, much higher than ordinary processor complexity, coupled with the original using IBM's own 22nm SOI process, while SOI process has not much to engage in foundries (GlobalFoundries used, 28nm node abandoned later IBM also inherited the mantle), it will increase the difficulty of the localization of Power processors.
· Mega core / Sea Light: China X86 technology can beat Intel, AMD?
I mentioned domestic processors, in addition to the military background of Shen Wei, soar, based on MIPS, SPARC and Power Architecture processor development process are twists and turns, the core problem they face is the same - software ecosystem far not as good as X86. Since everyone aware of this issue, then why not choose China X86 system do? This is a good question, you do not say, really have to engage in domestic X86 architecture.
Earlier with the X86 architecture is the authority of the Microelectronics Center of Peking University in 2005, AMD reached an agreement with the Chinese government, Beijing University of Science and Technology designated Microelectronics Center received AMD Geode-2 processor technology licensing, these things also Microelectronics Center of Peking University as the focus of publicity, he said, "this is American history, for the first time. this is so far the technical cooperation and cooperation between the field of semiconductors most influential outside the United States to authorize the development of X86 compatible microprocessor chips and systems."
AMD processors are given the X86 architecture, China has received a X86 technology, Geode processor but most people have not heard of it, because this is the AMD embedded processor, which originated in the Cyrix's MeidaGX platform, this part of the business was later Cyrix from national semiconductor (NS) acquired in 2003, national semiconductor's Geode AMD again to close the business.
AMD X86 technology licensed to the North is obviously not the top, so choose the embedded architecture to China, but this "charity" has been installed can make a good look at the North, a lot of people probably do not remember there PKUnity Processing it is the original MIPS architecture is done to give AMD authorized after their PKUnity86-3 is X86-compatible processors, but eventually dropped, only to live in a booth, and now have no news.
Put a little far away, back to the point. Since the X86 architecture is AMD, Intel guy to eat, they are usually not possible to license the technology to others, that example before AMD bought more to take the technology to meet the Chinese market only, from the two Chinese companies to get X86 technology the possibility is almost gone. But let us not forget X86 technology is actually not the only AMD and Intel, VIA VIA also X86 licensed their technology from Cyrix, which in turn is one of the year Intel X86 technology for licensing several companies.
After the year of Intel antitrust case settlement, VIA's X86 technology can be considered justified, but they are a small company VIA, high performance X86 architecture can not get along, they are out of the Nano, Nehemiah (Nehemiah), Esther (Esther), Isaiah (Isaiah, VIA general manager Chen Wen-chi, a Christian wife Cher Wang, the product code is also very religious characteristics) and other processor, although there is no lack features, but because the manufacturing process can not be compared with Intel, and architecture performance is not comparable. Since there is no market, that VIA simply the X86 technology sold to mainland Shanghai trillion-core companies.
Katherine is also very core of the company's background, 2013 by the Shanghai SASAC's Alliance Investment and VIA establishment of the registered capital of $ 200 million, Shanghai invested 80%, VIA shares accounted for 20%. This cooperation is clearly mainland money, VIA the technology, because the core business scope includes trillion X86 CPU, ARM CPU, GPU and chipset is VIA existing development, Shanghai SASAC below investment company can not this technology .
With a strong background, core do so trillion won national nuclear high base project, according to published reports megabytes core of nuclear high base to get subsidies of up to 5.6 billion, the subsequent still apply, totaling 7 billion. As for the return, Katherine called self-developed core ZX-C processor in April 2015 volume production, 28nm process, quad-core processor, clocked at up to 2.0GHz, TDP power consumption of only 18W, and supports the country's secret encryption algorithm but Katherine core CPU basically VIA processor vest, after all, to come up with products from established only two years or so, so soon produce a quad-core X86 processors is not easy.
In addition to Shanghai trillion core, another domestic company to receive X86 technology licensing is Tianjin sea of light, this thing had to start from AMD, after the earnings announcement this year Q2 quarter, AMD announced with China Tianjin sea-invested companies reached an agreement to X86 technology licensing Micron to sea, to get $ 293 million in licensing fees, the two sides will set up a joint venture.
Currently about AMD, sea light X86 license agreement is not clear, but the AMD X86 licensed to Chinese companies may no longer be very low-end, because AMD to open the Chinese market high-performance server, authorization is likely to be a high-performance architecture the Zen technology, in other words AMD has the potential to the Chinese company's most cutting-edge technology of X86, if so, AMD this time can really fight.
Hass: commercial market success is true success
While here chose Huawei Hass, but I want to say is actually Hass, Spreadtrum, Chi, Rockchip and other private companies to help develop a processor, as a representative selection Hass, Hass is because one of the leader. While these companies do not have much background (Huawei Hass be behind large companies, it is an exception), but they are precisely the commercialization of the most successful domestic processor, which is different point with the other processors described above.
Company to market-oriented commercial, what domestic pressure, independent property rights do not have to bear, they invariably chose the most popular ARM architecture, architecture is mostly purchased ARM's Cortex-A Series authorization, GPU is authorized to spend money , Hass can also develop their own baseband and ISP, DSP and other chips, the current Kirin 950 processor is the first Cortex-A72 core, Mali-T880 GPU and TSMC 16nm Plus processor technology, already has international advanced level.
to sum up:
Domestic processors described above, they can be roughly divided into academic writing, the military faction, State-owned and private school camp, where commercialization is obviously the best private school, domestic manufacturers in the mobile phone / tablet SoC processors have break out one day, the military faction soar, Shen Wei targeted because, in fact, the development is also very successful, Shen Wei SW26010 on many-core architecture also has a world class.
Unsatisfactory academic and belong to state-owned school, the Godson high hopes, but difficult market, taking into account the application of the MIPS instruction set, Godson to enter the mainstream market is not possible. Some state-owned capital to participate in domestic processors more disappointing, it is often known as the domestic launch of the processor independent property rights or independent research and development, but mostly behind the vest, many projects are aimed towards nuclear high base huge state subsidies.
Of course, taking on state subsidies in this regard, not only the state-owned school, in fact, all companies are salivating for this cake. Although Huawei Hass in the commercial development of the market is good, and this is commendable, but they did not forget the nuclear high base subsidies. We have reported that Huawei's Tarzan server, the information it had used Huawei self-developed CPU architecture, but then we find clarified Huawei public relations - the core processor is not 16 but 32 cores, based on the public version of the Cortex- A57 architecture, Huawei said the project is the high base of national nuclear program, not mass production.
I do not oppose state subsidies of high-tech development to the current relatively weak domestic point of view, the state support and subsidies for R & D and a storage processor chip research and development, and other major semiconductor process technology are essential, the question is how to avoid some company muddy the waters, to defraud the taxpayers money.
Despite such problems, domestic processors anyway to a vigorously growing industry, and we hope soon to see Chinese companies can produce world-class high-performance processors, with Intel, AMD, Qualcomm and other companies to compete with Taiwan, although not everyone will choose domestic processors.
Willing Hanxin One such incident never recapitulation