The Institute of Computing Technology (ICT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and STMicroelectronics NV have agreed to work together on the development and commercialization of processors based on Loongson-2E processor intellectual property (IP) core developed by ICT.
The cooperation between ICT and ST started in 2004 in the framework of the France-China Technology Cooperation (CTIBO). Within the project, ICT is responsible for the architecture and the design of the processors, while ST supplies the technology process, manufacturing and sales. The Loongson processor was also sometimes called Godson.
Under the present license agreement, ICT has granted ST the right to manufacture and sell worldwide the processors developed within the cooperation for five years. ICT and ST are set to promote the processors jointly in China.
"The licensing by a foreign company of the Loongson 2E IP proves that ICT has successfully placed China on the world's technology competitive stage. Through the cooperation with ST, the commercialization of this technology is shortened with great market potential," said Li Guo Jie, director of ICT.
Loongson processors are based on a 64-bit architecture that is compatible with the MIPS64 architecture from MIPS Technology Inc. There have been concerns that Loongson infringes on patents held by MIPS. In July 2005 the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said the processor does not infringe any international intellectual property rights, according to the English language online version of The People’s Daily. However, ST has acquired a license to the MIPS64 architecture, apparently preventing the likelihood of a patent infringement law suit between MIPS and the Chinese academy.
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