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China Releases 2nd generation MIPS Chip

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the cheapness-beckons dept.

Hardware 354

eldawg writes writes with news of the launch of a second-generation Chinese 64-bit MIPS CPU. "The Godson-2 or 'Dragon' went into production last week. News reports indicate that, 'The CPU is 95% MIPS compatible using an unauthorized and unlicensed variation of the MIPS architecture, which is owned by the American company MIPS Technologies...The Godson-2 is pretty much a copy of the MIPS R10000 which makes it on par with 1995 technology.' The Chinese plan on using these chips in consumer electronics for the local market, but one can assume that they will eventually end up in exported electronic goods. I wonder if MIPS Technology will sit idly by when this happens?"

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SPIN SPIN SPIN! (5, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 9 years ago | (#13162960)


News reports indicate that, 'The CPU is 95% MIPS compatible using an unauthorized and unlicensed variation of


Unauthorized and unlicensed - duh, of course it is. That does NOT per se make it illegal and it certainly does not mean it is "stolen". Anyone can implement an instruction set (there are decades of precendent for this) - while our system may be really fucked up when it comes to thing like business method patents, on processor architecutre (and electronics in general) it is clear: it's the implementation that counts, NOT the idea.

the MIPS architecture, which is owned by the American company MIPS Technologies...

Do you mean "implementations of which have been successfully licensed by MIPS, but frankly it's a well documented and relatively simple RISC instruction set
that a single person with a few years VHDL experience can implement"? See OpenCores [opencores.org] for an example.

The Godson-2 is pretty much a copy of the MIPS R10000 which makes it on par with 1995 technology.'

So WTF are the latest Opteron processors? On par with 1978 technology [wikipedia.org] ?

The Chinese plan on using these chips in consumer electronics for the local market, but
one can assume that they will eventually end up in exported electronic goods.


One can be assured that cheaper processors will find their way into everything. Nice try insinuating that the EVIL CHINESE are deliberately out to screw us by EMBRACING CAPITALISM!

I wonder if MIPS Technology will sit idly by when this happens?"

I wonder if MIPS has a choice. See AMD vs Intel ca. 1991

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (1)

waltznumber3 (899425) | more than 9 years ago | (#13162977)

you spin me right round baby, right round, like a record baby right round round round...

fucking chinese sons of a bitches... wtf mate ^^

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163115)

What on earth are you talking about? He was ripping on the article posted here, not on the Chinese...

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (1)

jmking1 (899043) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163160)

It's a references to this [ebaumsworld.com] .

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13162978)

What did you expect on SLASHDOT?!

It's Mac, MS, Sun, CHINA BASHING, Mac, MS, Sun.

Repeat, and rinse.

Throw in the occassional RIAA/MPAA.

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13162987)

My question then, after all the errors in the write-up, is what year is the new chip on par with?

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (1)

nmos (25822) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163265)

My question then, after all the errors in the write-up, is what year is the new chip on par with?

A 3 year old.

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (2, Interesting)

Raindance (680694) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163033)

A few points-

1. This processor is 95% MIPS compatible. I understand incompatible, and 100% compatible. What do they mean by this?

2. You're right that this is mainly a PR release- and though it doesn't flat-out say that this processor infringes on any MIPS patents, it's certainly implied. You seem to be strongly implying that this processor *doesn't* infringe on any MIPS patents. Do you have any facts about this, or is it your intuition?

3. If the Godson-2 is "pretty much a copy of the MIPS R10000" that seems to make performance claims (rather than just saying it's "MIPS compatible"). I'm not sure your Opteron-8086 analogy architecture analogy holds up.

Good catch that this is was a PR release.

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (4, Informative)

Homology (639438) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163053)

2. You're right that this is mainly a PR release- and though it doesn't flat-out say that this processor infringes on any MIPS patents, it's certainly implied. You seem to be strongly implying that this processor *doesn't* infringe on any MIPS patents. Do you have any facts about this, or is it your intuition?

A patent granted in USA is not automatically valid elsewhere, and you cannot infringe on a patent where it's not valid. The Chinese will infringe on MIPS patents if they try to export their chip to countries where the MIPS patens are valid.

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (4, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163056)

1. This processor is 95% MIPS compatible. I understand incompatible, and 100% compatible. What do they mean by this? .

It does not implement the bits that are patented. IIRC there are patents MIPS equivalent of SIMD instructions and a few others. The chinese were wise enough to skip these so they in fact can export this and MIPS technologies will have to sit and watch.

Do you have any facts about this, or is it your intuition?.

It was one of the design criteria. There was plenty of information about it 1-2 years ago. It was carefully and deliberately designed around MIPS patents. The rest of the architecture and the instruction set is an industry standard and in the public domain.

If the Godson-2 is "pretty much a copy of the MIPS R10000".

It is as far as instruction set is concerned. It is not as far as technology and implementation. While R10000 was not a bad CPU, I would expect "Godson" to be considerably better. It should consume less and scale to higher frequencies. China has manufacturing capability on 150nm (and possibly less) which was not available to anyone in 1995

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (5, Funny)

JohnsonWax (195390) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163332)

It does not implement the bits that are patented.

Correct. Both the least significant bit and the most significant bit are patented. The Chinese omitted these for legal reasons. As a result the Godson-2 is relatively fast but highly insignificant.

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (4, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163077)

1. This processor is 95% MIPS compatible. I understand incompatible, and 100% compatible. What do they mean by this?

It could mean a couple instructions aren't implemented. This could be because:

a) they had to avoid a patent
b) some instructions were part of the original architecture, but were never used
c) some better replacement was discovered

It is relatively easy to strip out support for a couple specialty instructions from a compiler, so the usefulness of a "95% compatible" processor is perfectly conceivable.

2. You're right that this is mainly a PR release- and though it doesn't flat-out say that this processor infringes on any MIPS patents, it's certainly implied. You seem to be strongly implying that this processor *doesn't* infringe on any MIPS patents. Do you have any facts about this, or is it your intuition?

I'm just saying there's nothing here to suggest that it DOES. That's the whole art of "spin".

3. If the Godson-2 is "pretty much a copy of the MIPS R10000" that seems to make performance claims (rather than just saying it's "MIPS compatible"). I'm not sure your Opteron-8086 analogy architecture analogy holds up.

Performance is largely a function of non-platform-specific things, including having access to the latest silicon processes - and China does. Instruction set is not so relevant - we've gotten to today's performance mostly by heaping layers upon layers of pipelining and caching engineering on top of the original x86 instruction set so I think it's a fine analogy.

Good catch that this is was a PR release.

Who knows - there are tons of Silicon Valleyites who are just completely pissed about globalization and the threat of Chinese technology, so who knows the motive for this fine article.

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163186)

You seem to be strongly implying that this processor *doesn't* infringe on any MIPS patents. Do you have any facts about this, or is it your intuition?


So guilty until proven otherwise?

Nice one

Theft of American Technology (-1, Troll)

reporter (666905) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163102)

In creating Godson-2, Beijing had considerable assistance from the samples of American military processors [msnbc.com] that Gao Zhan stole and gave to a Chinese military institute. Gao Zhan is the Chinese for whom the American people sacrificed their political and economic capital to "free" from a Chinese prison. The American people were duped by her. She was a spy in the Chinese spy network, and the entire fake Chinese prisonment was part of the game to steal American military technology.

She is currently in the process of being deported.

Re:Theft of American Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163278)

She should be executed. One day, we're all going to pay for trusting those communists. China should have been kept in isolation until their commie system collapsed and they were ready to embrace a more open system of government. Now, we're artificially propping up back asswards societies that think they're superior.

I can't believe the slap on the wrist this bitch was given.

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (3, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163192)

See AMD vs Intel ca. 1991

You do realize, that AMD had a license to second-source Intel parts, right? That litigation was over the terms of that license.

-jcr

Re:SPIN SPIN SPIN! (2, Interesting)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163207)

All these media outlets and propaganduh can say all they want, all I know is there will come a time when I will still be able to compute FREELY using my cheap Kung-Pau-Dragon-Godson-V-Dear-Leader processor when all of you Linux zealots are just sitting there facing a blank EFI boot prompt :D

Forget The Chip... (4, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#13162961)

All they need to do is create a knock off copy of the Mac Mini and sell it for $99 USD. They can call it the Red Mini Star. :P

good point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13162992)

they are really too expensive as there are, and I wouldn't mind a good cheap doorstop.
(or boat anchor for that matter :P)

Re:Forget The Chip... (2, Funny)

Soko (17987) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163120)

They can call it the Red Mini Star. :P

I'd buy one of those for me mum if they'd call the smeggin' thing Red Dwarf.

Soko

Re:Forget The Chip... (2, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163327)

They can call it the Red Mini Star.

Yes, and if you don't like the gui/OS you are sent away for "re-education".

Cue Steve Jobs announcement.... (1)

CdBee (742846) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163351)

....stating that OSX has been secretly running on MIPS for the last 4 years as a backup backup plan

Unauthorized 1st post (1)

ZeekWatson (188017) | more than 9 years ago | (#13162966)

Nobody saw this coming ...

Maybe China... (0, Troll)

CypherXero (798440) | more than 9 years ago | (#13162967)

...will just buy out MIPS Technology, just like they are with everything else.

with what? (-1, Flamebait)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163086)

...will just buy out MIPS Technology, just like they are with everything else.

china is a screwed country. they can not escape their own problems, to become a first world nation. at best, china will always be reliant on other nations.

what do you believe is the #1 bargining chip the USA has with china? the massive military power the usa possesses? no. the massive wealth the usa possesses? no. the anwser is food exports.

china can not feed their own people. they are in the same position north korea is in. if the usa cut off food exports to china tomorrow, in one year there would be an epidemic that would make china look like ethiopia.

china is trying to fix their malady with a government issued order- only one child per family. the problem then becomes that many families will kill their first child if it is a girl, because boys are more usefull to a family and greater income earners.

china also refused to invest in r&d like other first world nations. instead, china will use industrial espionage to steal plans/ideas, and reverse engineer products, then replicate those products using cheap parts.

now if i was emporor of china, there are a few things i would do to fix their country. #1) take back tiwan as an export epicenter for all of asia. force the usa to fight or go home. end the stand off for once and for all. it costs too much to bluff, year after year. china could learn something from the pissing contest the USSR had with the usa. money that could have been used elsewhere was spent on the military. the usa does not have the forces to deal with china right now, not with iraq and afghanastan, and all the other hell holes on the globe that bush wants to clean. hell, if china got into it with the usa, i am pretty damn sure north korea would see an oppertunity to take back south korea. #2) china must be able to feed their own people. that requires innovation. one way to make sure they are able to feed all their own people is to have a massive war that takes 25% of their population. see #1 for how to accomplish this. if they fight the usa, there will be massive casulties. if they don't fight the usa and take tiwan, they will have more land to grow food, and to shuffle people to and from. #3) create the asian equivelant of the european union. find other countries to form a trading block, where anyone from one country can work in another, they all trade as one voice, they all set policy together. perhaps if chinese factories open their door to vietnamese workers, then vietnam will open their rice fields to china.

the other problem china faces is japan. these two nations hate each other more than the french despise british food. japan has always attempted to invade china. china needs a policy with regard to japan. but japan is in the pocket of the usa.

there is an ancient chinese proverb- "may you live in interesting times". i had a thought, imagine if china and cuba became buddy buddies. cuba sure could use all the electronics that china produces. and china could park a couple nukes in cuba facing at the usa. now those would be interesting times.

so, what is the anwser for china? they will be one of two things. they will either break away from the sphere of usa influance in their region. or china will be relegated to a cheap sweatshop for knock-off goods. china can't be like india, and try and have more per capita engineers than anyone, and lure buisness to their nation. china can't be like japan and export, export, export. china is china. their problems are their own.

btw, does anyone know what kind of air force china has?

in some ways, the problems china faces are the same problems the usa will face in another generation or two. as the usa continues to grow, there is only so much food the land can produce, and as people are forced to live closer and closer together, crime will go up, companies will look at people like animals fit only for work or death.

Re:with what? (3, Funny)

wheany (460585) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163150)

btw, does anyone know what kind of air force china has?

They have MIGs that shoot napalm, and if two or more MIGs shoot their missiles on the same target, it will cause a firestorm. They are especially powerful if China has upgraded to black napalm. Also, if you are facing the nuke general, beware of nuke MIGs.

China also has the Helix helicopter. It is pretty slow, but can be upgraded with a gatling gun, bunker or a propaganda tower, AND napalm bombs. Those napalm bombs are very lethal to ground troops.

Re:with what? (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163307)

Sounds like a pretty tough army. At least they haven't reverse engineered those underground warp tunnels... yet.

Re:Maybe China... (3, Insightful)

xski (113281) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163190)

you must not be old enough to remember when Japan was going to buy everything.

That didn't pan out either.

-xski

Re:Maybe China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163221)

China is a much bigger country than Japan. Their economics are also totally different.

Re:Maybe China... (1)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163223)

you must not be old enough to remember when Japan was going to buy everything.

Except back then America was blooming, and actually meant something to the world.

Please jog my memory, but what did America last produce and manufacture again? I'm talking about culture.. NOT.

Those Chinese (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13162968)

How can the west compete? Their hands are smaller and more nimble. Ours are large and clumsy.

Re:Those Chinese (0, Flamebait)

waltznumber3 (899425) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163002)

and by hands you mean cocks.

Re:Those Chinese (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163139)

Nope pretty sure he meant gloves :( mine size xxl yet im hung like a gerbal :*(

Re:Those Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163015)

yeah man just look at those xbox controllers

Re:Those Chinese (1)

Mikeydude750 (607965) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163106)

What are you talking about? /only uses the S controller...you know...the one that Microsoft originally designed for the Asian market... //best controller I have ever had the opportunity of using on a console

Large Hands (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163045)

You know what they say about men with large hands:

they wear large gloves.

'On par with 1995 technology' (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13162972)

You're kidding, right?

So, uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13162973)

Just checking, can I license MIPS from MIPS and this thing from Soviet China and manufacture my own?

Also, what the hell are these going to be used for? Are these just for high end computing or do the Chinese seriously plan to start using consumer linux or some shit to run on these MIPSes?

Re:So, uh (1)

Eric604 (798298) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163030)

They are more likely to be used in printers and such consumer electronics.

Vintage culture (5, Funny)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#13162974)

The Godson-2 is pretty much a copy of the MIPS R10000 which makes it on par with 1995 technology.

Which is excellent for vintage music lovers like myself, because all the hardware I've used since 1996 and on has absolutely refused to play my Ace of Base MP3s.

Re:Vintage culture (5, Funny)

WasterDave (20047) | more than 9 years ago | (#13162997)

all the hardware I've used since 1996 and on has absolutely refused to play my Ace of Base MP3s

Ahhh! Just as I was thinking there had been no significant improvements in computing, there it is - real progress.

Dave :)

Re:Vintage culture (0, Offtopic)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163019)

I saw the light, and it opened up my eyes.

Re:Vintage culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163028)

I saw the sign!

(D'oh! I hate myself for knowing this! mmm... "Post Anonymously"... sweeeeet....)

Re:Vintage culture (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163004)

what kind of computron are you using?

Yeah... (-1, Flamebait)

Tezkah (771144) | more than 9 years ago | (#13162976)

When I clicked on this story... it said:

"Nothing to see for you here. Move along."

Exactly what the Chinese textbooks will say about this. "IN the year 2005 China invented a brand new COMPUTER CHIP technology. American spies stole the designs for this chip and also the TOP SECRET designs for a time machine device, and went back to 1995 to create a company called MIPS."

What are they stealing? (4, Insightful)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 9 years ago | (#13162980)

If it's a copy of 1995 technology, and patents last 10 years, I wonder if they're violating anything important.

Re:What are they stealing? (4, Insightful)

dougmc (70836) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163023)

If it's a copy of 1995 technology, and patents last 10 years, I wonder if they're violating anything important.
In the US, patents last 17 or 20 years, depending on the type [patentcafe.com] . And US patents aren't valid in China anyways.

Really, there's little stopping them from using any US company's patented stuff at all -- I'm sure the companies would protest, but what's the US going to do about it? Go to war? Cut off diplomatic ties? Boycott them?

But they (China) may have problems selling stuff that uses this stuff to other countries, especially countries that are more inline with the US ideas of IP. Of course, China itself is a pretty large market, so this may not be a big problem.

Re:What are they stealing? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163096)

Well on the scale of one company, probably very little would happen, espically with something as relitively unimportant as older MIPS architecture (it's not nearly as popular as it used to be). However over all China will have to play by international trade rules. They are a WTO member, something they like wince it gives them much easier access to foriegn markets, and as such the WTO wields some authority. While it's questionable if the US alone could cause enough economic trouble (espically given the reciporical trouble that would happen) with tarriffs/bans, it's no question that if all WTO members did the same China would have no choice but to change.

In general I think we'll find as China continues to grow to more of a world superpower that the play more and more by world IP rules. I'm sure they'll also work to set what those are, but they are going to want some because as they continue to forge ahead in to high technology, they'll start creating new IP that they'll want to license out and the last thing they'll want is other countries ripping them off.

At any rate, something tells me we aren't getting the whole story here. Just because they made a chip that is manifestly the MIPS instruction set, doesn't mean that it was done illegally. A clean/dirty technique should be perfectly legal. HAve one group of people rip apart a MIPS's instruction set and fully document it, have another implement a chip based on that documentation. Should be no patent or copyright problems.

Re:What are they stealing? (1)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163232)


Well on the scale of one company, probably very little would happen, espically with something as relitively unimportant as older MIPS architecture (it's not nearly as popular as it used to be). However over all China will have to play by international trade rules. They are a WTO member, something they like wince it gives them much easier access to foriegn markets, and as such the WTO wields some authority. While it's questionable if the US alone could cause enough economic trouble (espically given the reciporical trouble that would happen) with tarriffs/bans, it's no question that if all WTO members did the same China would have no choice but to change.


Will never happen..

Tragedy of the commons, you guys just can't resist the notion of not being able to buy that $30 DVD player.

*gasp* What will happen if Americans can't buy their cheap DVD players and fill their minds with numb and dry American entertainment? Perhaps they will realise what a screwed up place their world is becoming, and actually do something about it!

The only way your government can keep you in the dark is probably to keep numbing your minds, keep you all fat and contented.. and I'll leave you to find out the rest.

Re:What are they stealing? (2, Interesting)

demachina (71715) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163044)

Its only 95% compatible because they didn't implement some instructions that are patented by MIPS presumably so they can sell products using them in the U.S. without getting sued and without paying MIPS any royalties.

The Chinese are masters at avoiding the payment of royalties for IP.

The worst problem they have is their fab technology is a couple generations out of date. They are actively seeking suckers... err ... fab equipment makers who want to partner with them while they steal .... err .... license their technology.

I get the impression that chip equipment makers are one of the few industries that have seen the peril in partnering with China, turning over all their IP to them, and then being put of business by them. I wonder why other industries weren't so bright.

Re:What are they stealing? (1)

eddison_carter (165441) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163059)

Uhh, as far as I understand most of them are Japenese? I had read (granted in a book from 1987) that the big American ones were pretty much being killed off.

Given that the above may be wrong, then they learned the hard way. If it's right, well, Japenese companies always took a longer term view. Not as innovataive though, it'd be nice to have management with a longer-term view + the US culture of encoraging radical ideas in R&D.

Re:What are they stealing? (4, Insightful)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163172)

I thought the USA culture was offshoring everything and cutting seats to cut costs and increase profits to make stock holders happier.

As for chip makers, Taiwan appears to be where everyone is headed... or would be if there was enough space to accomodate them. It's been a while since I last saw "Japan" printed on an IC. The majority come from either Taiwan, Malaysia or Korea... just like nearly everything else (once you add China) and only more so in the future.

Shamless... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13162984)

The article said and I quote "The move still shows that China is capable of designing complex microprocessors." and "The Godson-2 is pretty much a copy of the MIPS R10000 which makes it on par with 1995 technology."

I didn't know design is just copying someone's IP.

MIPS is dead, anyway (3, Insightful)

Ray Alloc (835739) | more than 9 years ago | (#13162990)

If MIPS cannot make its own chips live longer, then it's definitely a good thing that chinese copy it "illegally" and find a usage as embedded consumer processors. MIPS had its 15 minutes, now it's over, they should be grateful that at least their architecture is still used for some obscure stuff.

Evil Chinese (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13162999)

Wow this was great evil-Chinese propaganda.

I am going to kick in the balls the first person who makes an R/L joke and calls this a "LISC" processor.

Re:Evil Chinese (1)

raptor_87 (881471) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163073)

The R/L stuff is more of a Japanese thing anyway...

Re:Evil Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163336)

actually, that's not true.

in cantonese, no 'r'.

Re:Evil Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163079)

Wouldn't some creative use of the acronym RICE be funnier? My contribution (submitted for you approval) Reduced Intellectual Property Converted
erroneously

Re:Evil Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163251)

Don't be so angly.

Re:Evil Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163315)

It is brack day on Srashdot when see bigot a joke rike a dis.

legal challenge for exporting... (0)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163021)

The CPU is made by BLX IC Design Corp and the company plans on using these chips for China's booming domestic consumer electronics market. If and when they are used in exported goods, the company may face legal challenges from MIPS Technologies for infringing on its intellectual property.

we have a technology that a US company claims to own. china takes that technology to use for domestic goods. most would expect that if china attempted to sell these goods inside the usa, china would be sued.

but a far more interesting question is what can the usa do to stop china from selling goods based on stolen technology in their own country?

is that even a wise policy? perhaps. if china can make goods based on patents owned by usa companies, then the usa companies loose the trade they otherwise would have had. the usa workers get hurt in the long run. if a usa company will fight tooth and nail protecting their ideas and innovations inside the usa, why should they turn their heads when the theft is outside the usa?

i bet the usa companies will lobby congress to take away "most favored nation" trade designation, or to raise imports, or to impose some economic punishment on china.

and what does this say about the chinese people? they seem to invest great pains in stealing technology rather than creating new ideas. there have been newspaper reports of the chinese taking american cars, reverse engineering them, and then building a chinese version with cheap plastic and parts for nickels on the dollar. and i believe china and tiwan are the two biggest manufacturors of knock-off goods, like pirated gucci bags, or playstation mod chips, or fake rolex watches. too bad we can't kick the RIAA out of the USA and send them to china.

what will china be in the next 50 years? a nation that produces knock-off's of low quality?

the anwser for china is to invest in R&D. it is what all advanced nations do. when i buy stock, it is something i look at. i am willing to invest in companies with otherwise so-so stat's if i see the company investing. it tells me the company is building something, working toward a goal, and not just here for the moment.

Re:legal challenge for exporting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163065)

And I thought americans were taking european cars, reverse engineering them and then building a american version with cheap plastic parts.

Re:legal challenge for exporting... (1, Interesting)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163089)

but a far more interesting question is what can the usa do to stop china from selling goods based on stolen technology in their own country?
They are the US's third-biggest trade partner, which means we wield a pretty big stick. Right now, China provides us mainly with cheap goods, which we can get from lots of other countries if we have to. If we were to, for example, try to kick them out of the WTO, they would lose lots of export dollars. Not saying it would kick them back to the dark ages or anything, but it would certainly make them sit up and take notice.
the anwser for china is to invest in R&D. it is what all advanced nations do.
The problem is that China isn't quite there yet. They aren't reimplementing decade-old technology because they want to, they're doing it because it's the best they can do right now. Which is actually really impressive, but again, they just aren't there yet.

If China were to rely on its own internal R&D, it might never catch up with the major industrialized nations, and that's unacceptable to Chinese leadership. (And it should be!) They need to get closer than they are now before they can start trying to be more self-sufficient.

I really think the cold hard fact of the situation is that, for all the progress China has made, it's soon going to hit a bar. For example, if they're ten years behind us now, I don't know they'll ever get closer than five years. And the reason is their government. Once that goes, China will finally be able to realize its potential. And yeah, I recognize that its potential will probably involve grinding America into dust - as an American I'm not entirely sanguine about that - but if it's a free country, I know we'll be able to get along. Just like, despite our well-documented problems with France and vice versa, there's barely been a blip in our relations with Europe. Democracies really can't stand to be enemies, no matter how hard they try.

Re:legal challenge for exporting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163095)

what will china be in the next 50 years? a nation that produces knock-off's of low quality?

But they will be cheap knockoffs so us 'Mercicans will buy them. They don't have to invest in R&D when we are only concerned with what is cheapest.

Welcome to the New World Order cheap is in R&D is an afterthought.

But when we find out (if we ever do) that it would be cheaper to spend an extra buck or two and get something that lasts a little longer China is a bind; they probably don't have the infrastructure to compete on quality.

Re:legal challenge for exporting... (4, Insightful)

Homology (639438) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163136)

But when we find out (if we ever do) that it would be cheaper to spend an extra buck or two and get something that lasts a little longer China is a bind; they probably don't have the infrastructure to compete on quality.

Funny, that was once said about Japanese products as well.

Re:legal challenge for exporting... (1)

coopaq (601975) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163234)

Funny, that was once said about Japanese products as well.

The title of the previous story on /. :

"Japan Wants to Build 10 Petaflop Supercomputer"

LOL :)

Re:legal challenge for exporting... (1)

Ours (596171) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163305)

Yeah but Japan or South Korea are not a pseudo-communist dictatorships like China is. I doubt that salaries will go up taking education with it, making China loose it's price edge forcing it to make better quality stuff instead. It's just exploiting cheap labour and nothing short of a revolution will make things change for them.

Re:legal challenge for exporting... (5, Insightful)

dalutong (260603) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163344)

It's just exploiting cheap labour and nothing short of a revolution will make things change for them.

As a sinologist and former resident of China, I disagree whole-heartedly.

You have to remember -- when considering education for the Chinese people, the Communist Party has been a godsend. Under the communist government literacy has increased over a thousand percent.

Chinese culture, as the father of all East Asian cultures, holds education dear and promotes getting as much of it as possible. Their college system is still sub-par when compared to the rest of the world, and when compared to S. Korea or Japan, but it is rapidly improving. Their top schools compete with the world's top schools. Their local schools have been providing valuable training in business management, among other skills, that have allowed the Chinese economy to boom as it has been booming.

And that won't stop. In 50 years they will no longer be the cheap-labor capital of the world, because they will have raised the education bar to a level much higher than it is.

Only then will "revolution" make any sense. Anything before then will just put in a government that is MUCH worse than the current government.

If you want to understand a country's progression towards democracy, you should read books on international development -- especially "second track" or "citizens" diplomacy. The leaders in that field have studied successful migrations to democracy and have learned that democracy fails when "democratic norms" are not in place. Those include education and an entrepreneurial-type business culture (and a stable economy that isn't dependent on the government), among other things.

Until those democratic norms have been established, any democracy would collapse.

Look at Taiwan -- they were a military dictatorship until 1988, and the people who fled to Taiwan had, on average, very high education levels. Even then it took 40 years to bring democracy.

Look at Russia -- Putin is getting more and more powerful, and the people support him. Why? Because they would rather have a burgeoning economy and stability than have democracy.

Re:legal challenge for exporting... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163321)

Yyyyyeah. The Japanese have a mania for quality and a well-earned reputation for hard work. The Chinese have nothing of the sort - they just want to get ahead, and they will cheerfully screw you over, even when you're sure to discover it. Trust me, I know. Did the Japanese ship empty containers to customers back in the 60s?

Re:legal challenge for exporting... (3, Insightful)

Taladar (717494) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163228)

the anwser for china is to invest in R&D. it is what all advanced nations do.
The answer to the US problems maybe. The answer for China's problem (to progress faster than technologically more advanced nations) is definitely not reinventing the wheel. It is definitely faster to get the technologies by reverse engineering than it would be to research in all possible directions and hope to find the right one. You might not like it but China is definitely doing the right thing from their perspective.

Re:legal challenge for exporting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163235)

Funny, when AMD implemented the Intel instruction set, we didn't hear the same jingoistic bullshit. Is being a hypocrite a precondition for being US-american?

"Complex microprocessors"? Hah! (1, Troll)

eddison_carter (165441) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163027)

From the article:
"The move still shows that China is capable of designing complex microprocessors."

As is any junior level class in computer engineering ... A bit more complex then the Hennasy and Patterson (The Classic!) book on computer arch and cpu design, but not by much. Given what (admittedly little) the article said about China's CPU fabs, I wonder if the newest Xilinx or Altera FPGA's could implement the design and run it faster ..

Re:"Complex microprocessors"? Hah! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163052)

The parent post is right... many undergraduate level of computer architecture classes in colleges use MIPS as the basis of the first microprocessor that students develop. Mainly because it is a quite simple ISA.

Re:"Complex microprocessors"? Hah! (1)

akuma(x86) (224898) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163195)

Wow, a 4-issue in order MIPS? That's adorable :)

long term view (0, Troll)

noelo (661375) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163038)

The chinese have probably bet that with the rate that technology is now progressing and the slowness that the WTO/courts operate it will take a couple of years to get any decision against them. By that time they will have already made their money. This will get really interesting in a while when software patents are infringed upon. I can't see any of the major players bitching about patents particularly when the chinese can shut them out of the market.

Sweet, but... (2, Interesting)

vga_init (589198) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163042)

Where can I buy one?

I support localized technology. Where is everyone's capitalist spirit of competition, anyway? I'm eager to see what more China has to offer to the future.

Re:Sweet, but... (1)

B4D BE4T (879239) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163123)

Where can I buy one?
China, duh.

Re:Sweet, but... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163285)

I can export them, if you want. But if the quality control issues don't kill you, the import tariffs will.

But... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163049)

does it run Linux?

oh...wait

US (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163050)

honestly, who gives a shit about the US?
Americans. thats it
_ /flame

This means.... (3, Interesting)

linguae (763922) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163057)

...alternate architectures aren't dead yet. It's nice to know that some alternatives to the x86 juggernaut are still live and kicking. I wonder if China will make MIPS-based personal computers or workstations? If these new processors are powerful enough, I might import a MIPS-based PC for some nice assembly hacking.

It would nice to see a day where the x86 juggernaut is effectively challenged.

Re:This means.... (2, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163158)

It's nice to know that some alternatives to the x86 juggernaut are still live and kicking.

This is NOT an alternative to x86. Think, alternative to embedded PPC/ARM/etc.

I wonder if China will make MIPS-based personal computers or workstations?

We'll see MIPS-based PCs about as soon as we'll see StrongArm-based PCs.

It would nice to see a day where the x86 juggernaut is effectively challenged.

We saw lots of those days... back in 1995 or so.

It's really amazing, though, how Intel's BS about the Itanium being faster and cheaper than everything else convinced so many companies to drop their propritary lines, only to leave the door wide-open for AMD.

So if it's the godson... (2, Funny)

postgrep (803732) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163066)

Marlon Brando is the godfather?

The register (5, Informative)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163081)

"The Register" has a better write up on this story (sorry guys). Apparently they've managed to get Windows CE, Linux, and VxWorks up and running on the CPU.

As for the patented instruction sets, apparently they aren't used in the chip. (Supposedly that's why it's 95% compatible).

Currently the chip clocks in at 400-500Mhz, but the next generation is going to be around the 1Ghz mark - by which point China is going to be spitting out all manner of sub $200 computers I imagine.

The Lexra story (4, Interesting)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163087)

I've been working a project that uses the MIPS-I compatible Lexra 4180 [maushammer.com] , and in my research I found they were basically sued out of business by MIPS for creating a clone. This link -- the Lexra story [jonahprobell.com] -- is a good summary. From that article: MIPS Technologies claimed that because an exception handler could be created to emulate the function of unaligned loads and stores in software with many other instructions Lexra's processors infringed the patent. It was claimed to basically be a patent infringement case because the instruction set used the patented unaligned load feature. (I just coded this into my mips disassembler -- it takes two instructions to process, but the benefit is that it looks like it would be much easier to implement in hardware)

One good example of IP laws hurting the industry (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163147)


Thanks for that link [jonahprobell.com] .

... their investors wanted to see MIPS Technologies defend its intellectual property, ...

Unless there's a lot more that the guy is telling, this is a very clear case of IP laws directly impeding the industry.

If there can be some real competition ... (-1, Troll)

putko (753330) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163093)

If there can be some real competition in the processor market, that will be great for consumers.

Anything (anything!) to increase the competition will be good for consumers.

Furthermore, the Chinese will slash the prices to almost nothing -- and we all know it.

They take a perverse pleasure in doing this against their competitors (because they can) -- it is how they throw their weight around, and cut off the air supply of their competitors.

Hiyaaaaaaaah! (insert chop to throat)

One thing is sure (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163098)

It will not run a pirated copy of MS Windows, so at least one big american company is happy with it. If it performs as an R10000, I do not mind running linux on it though, at least not when it is matched with a good video card (2D only needed).

Re:One thing is sure (1)

AndyBurnsUK (902057) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163260)

It will not run a pirated copy of MS Windows, so at least one big american company is happy with it.
Is it? Surely M$'s best hope for the chinese market is to turn a blind eye to use of pirated versions of Windows in the short term to prevent Tux getting his webbed feet under the door, then hope to legitimise sales with steep discounts once they're hooked.

This isn't new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163107)

The Chinese are world leaders in re-engineering. Just ask the FSSR why they were always hesitent on selling technology to the Chinese.

How to stop this from ever happening again... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163108)

Make a 100% fatal bug that only works on people with a specific genetic set-up that is only/mostly found in the Chinese, and it takes a month or two to develop.

Infect someone on their vacation in Beijing. The entire country dies within a year. So does a large segment of California and Lower Manhattan, but the evil racist overlords who own America will consider it a small price to pay for GLOBAL DOMINATION!

They will figure: "we have to do it to them before they do it to us and empty North America, Australia, and Europe."

Sometimes I hate the world and everyone in it.

Sometimes I don't.

AC

Re:How to stop this from ever happening again... (1, Interesting)

Mikeydude750 (607965) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163127)

Better yet...why stop at the Chinese? Why not kill everyone living on Earth right now? I mean...it will obviously take care of all our problems with other countries...

Get real, you couldn't kill a race by genetic makeup, because there is too much similarity to create a virus that would only target race. Besides, what would get accomplished if you tried such a thing?

Fucking racist...

Re:How to stop this from ever happening again... (1)

oldwolf13 (321189) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163294)

ever heard of sickle cell?

So now intellectual property is good (4, Insightful)

heroine (1220) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163138)

Learned a long time ago to ignore any political opinions given by computer scientists because agree with them and they'll just say the opposite. So after the whining about companies banning replication of their video codecs and software, it's now bad for China to replicate MIPS compatability.

Nevertheless, compatability with the MIPS standard seems like the most trivial thing they could have copied. There are much harder problems to overcome in building a CPU than what spec to follow. The MIPS spec doesn't define how to mass produce very precise arrangements of semiconductor features for the least amount of money. It doesn't define how to dissipate heat and reduce power consumption.

Also, one day people are going to figure out that whatever China's government says, it's 10 years behind their current status. China's government says its economy is only growing at 5%. In reality it's growing at 10%. They say they won't finish the olympic stadium until 2008. It's finished now. They say 3 gorges won't become operational until 2010. It's operational now.

So what do you think the current state of Chinese technology is now that their government says they're at 1995 levels?

Re:So now intellectual property is good (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163224)

Could you provide some sources for your information?
China's government says its economy is only growing at 5%. In reality it's growing at 10%.
http://www.china.org.cn/english/2004/Jan/85390.htm [china.org.cn]
An agency of the Chinese government announced that economic growth reached 9.1% for 2003.
They say they won't finish the olympic stadium until 2008. It's finished now.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews /TPStory/LAC/20050704/BEIJING02/TPInternational/To pStories [theglobeandmail.com]
The truth is very different and much more compelling. The International Olympic Committee told the Chinese to slow down construction due to fears that the Olympic venues would become white elephants (read the link).
They say 3 gorges won't become operational until 2010. It's operational now.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Gorges_Dam [wikipedia.org]
Probably not very up-to-date but wikipedia says that one generator was online in 2003 and all 26 are expected to come online by 2009. So the dam being operational now doesn't mean much if it's producing less than 10% of its full capacity.

This article here (2, Insightful)

putko (753330) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163141)

This article here [jonahprobell.com] gives some insight into the sots of problems the Chinese may have if they try to enter the USA market.

I hope that by the time they choose to enter the market, they have enough money/power to sustain the legal battle.

The MIPS company people sound like asses.

BLX IC Design Corporation = China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163175)

Why is this suddenly China against US ? Isn't it two seperate companies only? So since SCO is a Linux-enemy we could discuss all of USA as an enema of Linux?! This headline smacks of Fox'ing. Talking about animals seems American AMD, the friendly CPU firm is having "Chinese" sex:

http://www.amd.com/us-en/Corporate/VirtualPressRoo m/0,,51_104_543~80806,00.html [amd.com]

AH

MIPS R10K is actually pretty zippy. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163262)

If you've ever used an R10k Silicon Graphics workstation, you'll know that these MIPS chips are pretty beefy. The floating point performance in particular on modern MIPS chips is spectacular. (R14k chips are used in Tezro currently)

There's a REASON Silicon Graphics used MIPS chips in their systems until recently. (and they only switched to x86 stuff due to economic pressure, not performance...)

I have a dual processor R12k SGI Octane on my desk and it still beats my brand new P4 out on a LOT of tasks. And that's a seven year old machine....

Plus, these are 64-bit chips.

Sure, the R10k processor is "from 1995". But SGI's policy at the time THEY were using MIPS R10k chips in their $50k workstations was to factor of ten beat everything else on the market. Meaning, their systems were engineered to be at least ten times as powerful as the competition (and ten times the price to boot).

So... Knockoff R10k MIPS chips, built with modern advancements, smaller dies, and scaled to higher clock rates, will perform VERY WELL comparatively. In fact, for some tasks, (floating point) the chip should compete quite well with a P4 1.5 Ghz... and probably be a whole hell of a lot cheaper. And 64 bit I might add.

And since there are already designs for systems with massive numbers of MIPS R10K nodes (Origin 2000 for example) which are considered to be "junk" it's not hard to imagine knockoff supercomputers....

non-treacherous (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13163271)

/.ers, better embrace 'em!

These will soon be the only CPUs on the market that don't have treacherous computing extensions [gnu.org]

Good thing Linux runs well on old/slow hardware...

this isn't news (4, Insightful)

maxpublic (450413) | more than 9 years ago | (#13163318)

American patents don't apply in China, so by definition no patent has been violated - even if a case could be made in the states. American law doesn't stretch a single foot outside of American borders, at least when it comes to countries the U.S. can't conquer or cow into submission.

Max
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