China launches Linux "dragon chip", challenges Intel

THE PEOPLE'S DAILY reports that China has built its first server chip which uses a localised form of Linux, and which it dubs the "Dragon Chip". The CPU was built and developed by the Computer Institution of the Chinese Academy of Science, and is part of its "Soaring Dragon" project to take advantage of the fact that it will be the second biggest semiconductor market in the world by 2010.

The Dragon Chip, according to the report, is stable, reliable and a good performer for servers and for websites using servers.

According to the article, the "Dragon Chip" is possibly faced with problems over intellectual property, although the newspaper claims that this doesn't necessarily follow. It cites Taiwanese company Via as able to make Intel compatible CPUs without breaching Intel's monopoly. But actually, this argument doesn't necessarily follow for the "Dragon Chip". By acquiring Cyrix intellectual property and patents, Via has X86 compatibility and during the 1990s, the battles over whether these chips infringed Intel's property rights were fought and won by the then Richardson-based company

According to sources close to China's plans, its military requirements specifically avoid Microsoft software, which the generals believe to be a flawed system in a battle zone. Other sources tell us that China has also successfully built clones of the DEC, now Intel Alpha microprocessor.

News source: The Inquirer

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