Longson officially introduced the 3A5000 processor based on the Longacre architecture of its own design. It has nothing to do with x86, ARM and other Western architectures. Compared to its predecessor released in December 2019, the new 3A5000 is 30% more energy efficient and 50% more productive. In terms of its capabilities, it caught up with a number of AMD processors.
The Chinese company Longson has premiered its latest 3A5000 processor based on its own architecture. It is based on nothing from x86, nor from ARM with MIPS and RISC-V, writes the Tom’s Hardware portal.
The unique Chinese architecture is called Longacre. According to the developers, the performance of the 3A5000 chip, also known as the LS3A5000, is at the level of the first generation AMD Ryzen. In other words, it still falls short of modern AMD and Intel chips.
New Longson is designed for use in desktop computers and laptops in the consumer segment.
The new processor will be sold only in China, at least for the first time after release. The developers do not name the terms of its appearance outside the PRC, as well as its retail price, at least in the home market.
Architectural features and processor capabilities
According to Longson, its Longacre architecture’s instruction set consists of approximately 2,000 unique instructions. They managed to achieve increased processor energy efficiency by eliminating obsolete processor instructions.
In addition to the basic instruction set, the Binary Transform (LBT), Vector Processing (LSX), Extended Vector Processing (LASX), and Virtualization (LVZ) instructions have also been implemented.
For the production of the 3A5000 processor, a 12-nanometer process technology is used. Longson does not specify in which company’s factories it is produced, and what are its current production volumes. All other Longson processors are manufactured by STMicroelectronics, Longson itself does not have its own factories.
Each such chip contains four computing cores, the frequency of which reaches 2.5 GHz. Each core has a quartet of arithmetic logic units (ALUs) and two vector processing units of 256 bits each.
Working with memory and comparison with other models
Portal Tom’s Hardware compared the new 3A5000 with its predecessor, 3A4000 or LS3A4000. A more modern processor is ahead of it both in terms of performance and energy consumption, and the lead in both of these parameters is quite impressive.
According to available data, 3A5000 was 50% more productive. Energy efficiency in his case is higher by a considerable 30%. To do this, the processor uses the technology of dynamic control of the supply voltage and the clock frequency of the cores, plus the function of disabling certain blocks if they are not currently involved is used.
Longson achieved such outstanding results in less than two years. As Chews’ reported, the 3A4000 processor was introduced at the end of December 2019. In many ways, the big difference in the capabilities of the chips is associated with their topologies – if the 3A5000 is 12-nanometer, then the 3A4000 is only 28-nanometer.
Longson’s new brainchild contains two DDR4 RAM controllers, up to DDR4-3200. There is support for error correction protocol (ECC) memory and four HyperTransport 3.0 controllers. Also, the developers did not fail to implement in 3A5000 support for SM2, SM3 and SM4 – Chinese data encryption standards.
Server processors from China
For the first time, the upcoming premiere of the 3A5000 processor became known back in mid-April 2021. At the same time, information appeared that Longson was preparing another chip – 3C5000.
The 3C5000 processor differs from the 3A5000 not only in the name, but also in the scope of use. This is a server chip designed for use in multiprocessor configurations. There are almost no details about it: like the 3A5000, it is produced according to 12-nanometer standards, but at the same time it contains 16 computing cores. The 3S5000 should go on sale in China towards the end of 2021.
How the future competitor of Intel and AMD appeared in China
Behind the Longson brand is the Chinese company BLX IC Design Corporation. It was founded in 2002 with the participation of the Institute of Computer Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Jiangsu Zhong Group.
The company’s processor architecture was originally called “Godson” (“Godson”). She was later renamed “Longson” (“Dragon’s Son”) and is now known as Longacre. It was developed completely independently of Western companies, and on its basis, for example, in September 2008, the Godson-3 processor was introduced. About 300 engineers from the Institute of Computer Technologies worked on its development, 200 of whom were engaged in hardware, and the other 100 in software.
The list of BLX IC Design Corporation clients that purchase Longson processors includes Lenovo (one of the largest manufacturers of computer and server equipment in the world) and the China Rocketry Research Institute. In 2019, the supply of these chips exceeded 500 thousand copies.
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