August 26, 2010

Godson CPUs Groomed for Supercomputing Duty

Nicole Hemsoth

The Chinese-made Godson CPU is apparently getting an upgrade next year. Professor Wei-wu Hu, at Beijing’s Institute of Computing Technology (ICT) presented a paper at the Hot Chips conference this week detailing the new 65nm processors that are scheduled to be delivered in 2011. The Godson is a MIPS-based processor line that the Chinese have developed so as not to be wholly dependent upon foreign vendors for their microprocessor needs.

According to an article in EE Times, the upcoming high-end chip, the Godson 3B, will be a 64-bit server chip with extended vector processing. The 8-core CPU reportedly delivers a whopping 128 gigaflops, but consumes just 40W of power. The vector processing consists of a 256-bit SIMD unit, which include eight 64-bit multiply-accumulate units. All of this floppery appears to be a good fit for HPC, and indeed, some of the chips are destined for supercomputing duty. From the EE times report:

Hu showed several board-level examples of designs that will use the 3B in servers or as nodes in massively parallel supercomputing clusters. Earlier this year Shenzhen-based computer maker Dawning Information Industry Co. Ltd. created a petaflops system based on Intel and Nvidia processors and said its next generation will use the 16-core Godson 3C.

Apparently the Godson 3C version will be manufactured on the 28nm node and is due out in 2012, although there is some question about which fab partner will have the manufacturing technology ready in time. STMicroelectronics is being used for the 65nm Godson 3B, which taped out in May.

Full story at EE Times

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