PALO ALTO, Calif. -- A chief architect of China's microprocessor initiative described an ambitious set of new Godson CPUs including a server chip with vector processing. Wei-wu Hu, a professor at Beijing's Institute of Computing Technology that has led development of the chips, announced several new 65 nm parts debuting in 2011 and plans to leapfrog to a 28-nm process for the next generation.
The ICT has developed six generations of the MIPS-based Godson chips since it started work on the architecture in 2001. Hu presented a paper at Hot Chips focusing on the latest high-end part, the Godson 3B.
The eight-core processor runs at up to a gigahertz and consumes 40W in a 65-nm STMicroelectronics process. The chip--which taped out in May and will be in silicon in September--measures 300 mm2 and delivers 128 gigaflops, Hu said.
The heart of the chip is the 64-bit, MIPS-compatible 464V core which sports a superscalar out-of-order pipeline capable of retiring four instructions per clock cycle. It supports 200 instructions to emulate the Intel x86.
The "V" in the core's name indicates the latest twist in the Godson design, extensions for vector processing.
The core extends its previous 64-bit floating point unit with a 256-bit SIMD vector unit including eight 64-bit MACs. Engineers also created a unique interface to feed the chip with pre-formatted data.
Hu provided little performance information for the part. However, he did say a single gigahertz core could decode H.264 video in 1080-pixel progressive resolution at up to 100 frames per second. The results are based on a combination of FPGA prototypes and RTL simulation.
The Godson 3B chip is currently in wafer testing. Researchers have yet to see the first packaged chips.
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.
Hu suggested some of the Godson designs could hit performance levels of multiple petaflops—potentially putting China's designers in the number one slot on the list of the world's Top 500 supercomputers for the first time. The server chips also aim at design wins in high-end embedded systems.
Wei-wu Hu of Beijing's Institute of Computing Technology presented the Godson 3B at Hot Chips