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Top engineer gives vision for Chinese chips

Owen Fletcher | April 24, 2009
China hopes its homegrown Godson chips will be used in devices from cell phones to servers

Design on a 16-core model of the Godson 3 could then be finished by 2011 and produced using the 45-nanometer or 32-nanometer manufacturing process, Hu said.

Even if those targets are met, the Godson will lag behind global chip-making standards. Intel and AMD already plan to launch chips manufactured using the 32-nanometer process this year.

Hu says Godson has full government backing. While the economic downturn has slowed business for firms that use Godson chips in their products, Beijing will provide whatever funding is needed for Godson's success, Hu said.

That includes creating policies that "provide a market" for products, Hu said. Last month the government of coastal Jiangsu province purchased 150,000 Godson-based computers for use in schools.

But government support isn't enough to get Godson chips used commercially, said Xu, the analyst.

Both the government and Hu's academic institute lack the business sense needed to popularize a product, said Xu.

"Even if the government makes purchases or supports the market, Godson's market share will not be able to grow much," he said.


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