In-Stat says China's 64-bit Godson-2 processor (also known as Dragon) is an unauthorized copy of the MIPS architecture. The research firm says the Godson architecture is 95 percent compatible with the popular MIPS.
Based on detailed analysis, In-Stat's Microprocessor Report has reached several conclusions, including the following:
China already is capable of designing world-class microprocessors. The only restraint on their performance is that Chinese chip-fabrication technology lags about two generations behind the rest of the industry. However, China is catching up fast, and the Chinese could gain access to state-of-the-art fabrication technology by outsourcing some manufacturing to independent foundries outside China.
The Godson architecture is a close imitation of the MIPS architecture and is about 95% MIPS compatible. The Godson-2 is similar to the MIPS R10000, introduced in 1995. These similarities could raise some controversial intellectual-property issues, because MIPS Technologies has no connection with Godson and hasn't licensed any technology to the Godson designers.
For now, at least, the Chinese are producing Godson processors solely for their own domestic market. However, international exports are possible in the future, especially if the Chinese embed their processors in consumer electronics products and other finished goods shipped to world markets. China's ambition to make its own microprocessors will affect microprocessor vendors all over the world.