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Loongson logo.svg
Marketed byLoongson Technology, Jiangsu Lemote Tech Co., Ltd, Dawning Information Industry, and others
Designed byInstitute of Computing Technology (ICT), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jiangsu Lemote Tech Co., Ltd
Common manufacturer(s)
Max. CPU clock rate200 MHz to 1.5 GHz
Min. feature size180 nm to 28 nm
Instruction setMIPS64

Loongson (simplified Chinese: 龙芯; traditional Chinese: 龍芯; pinyin: Lóngxīn; literally: "Dragon Core")[1] is a family of general-purpose MIPS64 CPUs developed at the Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in China.[2] The chief architect is Professor Hu Weiwu [zh]. It was formerly called Godson.

Loongson is the result of a public–private partnership. BLX IC Design Corporation was founded in 2002 by ICT and Jiangsu Zhongyi Group. Based in Beijing, BLX focuses on designing the 64-bit Loongson general-purpose and embedded processors, together with developing software tools and reference platforms.

STMicroelectronics fabricates and markets Loongson chips for BLX, which is fabless.

MIPS patent issues[edit]

The current Loongson instruction set is a MIPS64, but the internal microarchitecture is independently developed by ICT. Early implementations of the family lacked four instructions patented by MIPS Technologies to avoid legal issues.[3][4]

In 2007, a deal was reached by MIPS Technologies and ICT. STMicroelectronics bought a MIPS license for Loongson, and thus the processor can be promoted as MIPS-based or MIPS-compatible instead of MIPS-like.[5][6][7]

In June 2009, ICT licensed the MIPS32 and MIPS64 architectures directly from MIPS Technologies.[8]

In August 2011, Loongson Technology Corp. Ltd. licensed the MIPS32 and MIPS64 architectures from MIPS Technologies, Inc. for continued development of MIPS-based Loongson CPU cores.[9][10]

Architecture revisions[edit]

Loongson 1[edit]

The first revision of the Loongson architecture, the Loongson1 (Godson-232 core) is a pure 32-bit CPU running at a clock speed of 266 MHz. It is fabricated with 0.18 micron CMOS process, has 8 KB of data cache, 8 KB of instruction cache and a 64-bit floating-point unit, capable of 200 double-precision MFLOPS.[11] It is intended for embedded applications, such as point of sale (POS) systems, where a high performance 64-bit architecture is not needed.

Loongson 2[edit]

The Loongson 2 adds 64-bit ability to the Loongson architecture. Initially running at 500 MHz, later revisions to Godson 2E were produced that run up to 1 GHz. The Godson 2F, released to market in early 2008, ran at 1.2 GHz.

Loongson 2E[edit]

Loongson 2E

Loongson 2F[edit]


  • 1.0 GHz, 65 nm CMOS, 3 W
  • 100 M transistors, area 60 mm^2
  • Single GS464 core
    • 64-bit MIPS64 compatible
    • HW support X86 binary translation
    • Four-issue, OOO
    • 64 KB+64 KB L1 (four-way)
  • 1 MB L2 cache
  • On-chip DDR2/3 controller
  • 16-bit HT
  • PCI/PCIX, LPC, GPIO, etc.


  • 1 GHz, 65 nm
  • Single GS464V core (HD media decoding)
  • 512 KB L2 cache
  • 3D low-power GPU
  • DDR2/3 memory controller
  • PCIE 2.0 controller
  • SATA, USB, GMAC controller
  • LPC, SPI, UART, etc.

Loongson 3[edit]

The 65 nm Loongson 3 (Godson-3) is able to run at a clock speed near 1 GHz, with 4 CPU cores (~15 W) first and 8 cores later (40 W). In April 2010, Loongson 3A was released with DDR2/3 DRAM support. In 2017, Loongson released latest version of 3A cpu, 3A3000. As one of the domestic CPU of China, Loongson 3A3000 is being commercialized, and in the recently exhibition in Nanjing (2017), based on the Loongson 3A3000 motherboard developers computer quietly debut. 3A3000 is Loongson latest CPU model (2017), it is using a LoongISA instruction set and designed with quad-core 64-bit and clocked at 1.5 GHz, power consumption is only 30W. For the performance, because the frequency is only 1.5Ghz, 3A3000 single-threaded performance is significantly behind to intel or AMD products. 3A3000 is only about one-third of Intel i5 4460 (3.2G).

Loongson 3B[edit]

There are two versions of the Loongson-3B (Godson-3B), the first[12] featuring a 32 nm 6-core processor, and the second version[13] having a 28 nm 8-core processor. Each version can be clocked from 1.2 GHz to 1.5 GHz. Loongson-3B has exceptional energy efficiency in terms of performance per watt - executing 192 GFLOPS using 40 watts. Each CPU core has 64 KB L1 cache and 128 KB L2 cache. All the cores share a common 8 MB L3 cache, which helps to reduce the cache miss rate.

ICT has launched a Loongson-3B-based six-core desktop solution.[when?] Technical specifications:

  • Mini-ITX motherboard with Loongson-3B CPU
  • ATI RS780E (AMD 780E) southbridge with 128 MB integrated graphics
  • ATI SBx00 Azalia on-board audio
  • up to 16 GB DDR3 memory
  • Intel 82574L gigabit network interface
  • PCI, PCIe, 4 SATA ports, USB and other peripheral interfaces
  • Can optionally be equipped with AMD HD6770 discrete graphics, and HDD or SSD hard drive

This desktop solution uses an optimized version of Fedora 13, with a lot of software ported and available, such as Kingsoft (WPS) office suite. The manufacturer states that the user experience of the desktop solution has been significantly improved over its Loongson-3A based predecessor. Results of a benchmark test, conducted in April 2014, are available[14]

Hardware-assisted x86 emulation[edit]

The Loongson 3 adds over 200 new instructions over Loongson 2. Their addition has the specific benefit of speeding up Intel x86 CPU emulation at a cost of 5% of the total die area. The new instructions help with emulation performance, for example QEMU (the only known example). The new instructions reduce the impact of executing x86/CISC-style instructions in the MIPS pipeline. With added improvements in QEMU from ICT, Loongson-3 achieves an average of 70% the performance of executing native binaries when running x86 binaries from nine benchmarks.[15]

Supported software[edit]

Unlike processors from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices or VIA Technologies, Loongson does not directly support the x86 instruction set. The processor's main operating system is Linux, while in theory any OS with MIPS support should also work. For example, Windows CE was ported to a Loongson-based system with minimal effort.[16] In 2010, Lemote ported an Android distribution to the Loongson platform.[17]

Many operating systems work on Loongson:[18]



Compiler support[edit]

The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is the main compiler for software development on the Loongson platform.[41][42]

ICT also ported Open64 to the Loongson II platform.[43]

User applications[edit]

Open source applications on Linux Platform can be ported with little effort. Most common open-source applications (including OpenOffice.org, Mozilla Firefox, Pidgin, and MPlayer) and applications written for the Java platform are supported.[44] For .NET applications, an unofficial port of the Mono Common Language Runtime is available online.[45]

Loongson microprocessor specifications[edit]

Name / Generation Model Frequency
Year Cores Process
Die size
L1 Dcache
L1 Icache
L2 cache
[ SPECCPU2000]
Loongson-1 (embedded CPU) 1 266 MIPS32 2002 1 180 4 ? 1 ? 8 8 none 19/25
1A 300 MIPS32 2011? 1 130 22 71.4 1 16 16 none
1B 266 MIPS32 2011 1 130 13.3 28 <0.5 8 8 none
1C 300 MIPS32 2013 1 130 11.1 28.3 <0.5 16 16 none
Loongson-2 (singleCore) 2B 250 MIPS-III 64-bit 2003 1 180 ? ? ? ? 32 32 none 52/58
2C[46] 450 MIPS-III 64-bit 2004 1 180 13.5 41.5 ? ? 64 64 none 159/114
STLS2E 1000 MIPS-III 64-bit 2006 1 90 47 36 7 1.2 64 64 512 503/503
STLS2F 1200 MIPS-III 64-bit 2007 1 90 51 43 5 1.2 64 64 512
L2G 900–1000 MIPS64 2010 1 65 100 60 <4 1.1? 64 64 1024 ?
L2H 1000 MIPS64r2 2011 1 65 4 1.1? 64 64 512 ?
Loongson-3 (multiCore) 3A1000 1000 MIPS64r2 2009 4 65 >400 174.5 10 1.1 64 64 4096 568/788,[47] 2.4/2.3 (SPECCPU2006)
3B1000 1000 MIPS64r2 2011 4+4 65 >600 ? 20 ? 64 64 4096
3B1500 1200 MIPS64r2 2012 4+4 32 1140 160 30/60 ? 64 64 8192
3A2000 1000 MIPS64r2 2015 4 40 621 202.3 15 ? 64 64 4092 6~7(SPECCPU2006)
3A3000 1500 MIPS64r2 2017 4 28 >1,200 155.78 30 ? 64 64 8192 1100/1700, Single Core 11/10 & Multi Core 36/33 (SPECCPU2006)
Loongson-T (manyCore) Loongson-T[48] 1000 MIPS32 ? 64 28? ? ? ? ? 32×64 16×64 256×16 ?
Name / Generation Model Frequency
Year Cores Process
Die size
L1 Dcache
L1 Icache
L2 cache
[ SPECCPU2000]

Loongson-based systems[edit]

Lemote FuLoong and YeeLoong with a Loongson 2F microprocessor
Lemote's Fulong MiniPC on top of a CD-ROM drive as reference

In March 2006, a 100 Loongson II computer design called Longmeng (Dragon Dream) was announced by Lemote.

In June 2006 at Computex'2006, YellowSheepRiver announced the Municator YSR-639,[49] a small form factor computer based on the 400 MHz Loongson 2.

Currently, Loongson boxes that come with a 667 MHz Godson 2E processor or an 800 MHz Godson 2F processor are sold in China at CNY 1599 (US$200) or CNY 1800 respectively without monitor, mouse, or keyboard.

As of July 2008, two manufacturers have announced Loongson 2F products for sale outside China.

  • Van der Led, a Dutch company, announced an 8.9 in subnotebook, named Jisus, in April 2008.[50] As of September 2008, however, no orders have been fulfilled, the manufacturer does not respond to inquiries, and the product is no longer on their catalogue.
  • EMTEC, a French company, announced in June 2008[51] a 10″ subnotebook under the brand name Gdium[2], to be sold for "less than 399€" running Mandriva Linux. EMTEC announced the subnotebook would be available for sale in September in Europe, the United States, and China. EMTEC has already shown the devices in public events,[52] and is reaching out to the developer community through the "one laptop per hacker" program.[53]

As of November 2008 the new 8.9" netbook from the Chinese manufacturer Lemote that replaced mengloong, Yeeloong (Portable Dragon),[54] running Debian, is available[55] in Europe from the Dutch company Tekmote Electronics.

Loongson 3A laptop[edit]

Loongson insiders[56] revealed a new model based on the Loongson 3A quad-core laptop has been developed and is expected to launch in August 2011. With a similar design to the MacBook Pro[57] from Apple Inc., it will carry a Linux operating system by default.

In September 2011, Lemote announced the Yeeloong-8133 13.3" laptop featuring 900 MHz, quad-core Loongson-3A/2GQ CPU.[58]


On 26 December 2007, China revealed its first Loongson based supercomputer with performance 1 teraFLOPS of peak performance, and about 350 GFLOPS measured by LINPACK in Hefei, designated as KD-50-I.[59] This supercomputer was designed by a joint team led by Chen Guoliang at the computer science technology department of the University of Science and Technology of China and ICT (the secondary contractor). KD-50-I is the first Chinese built supercomputer to utilize domestic Chinese CPUs, with a total of more than 336 Loongson-2F CPUs, and nodes are interconnected by Ethernet. The size of the computer was roughly equivalent to a household refrigerator and the cost was less than RMB 800,000 (approximately US$120,000, EUR 80,000).[60]

On 20 April 2010, USTC announced successful development of Loongson 3A based KD-60-1. The new supercomputer is a cluster of standard blade servers with a total of over 80 quad-core Loongson processors, providing theoretical peak performance of 1 TFLOPS and reduces power consumption by 56% compared to the KD-50-I system that has similar performance.[61]

On 26 December 2012, USTC announced successful development of Loongson 3B based KD-90-1. The new supercomputer is a cluster of standard blade servers with a total of over 10 octo-core Loongson processors, providing theoretical peak performance of 1 TFLOPS, and reduces power consumption by 62% compared to the KD-60 system that has similar performance.[62]

Dawning 6000[edit]

The high-performance Dawning 6000, which has a projected speed of over one quadrillion operations per second, will incorporate the Loongson processor as its core. Dawning 6000 is currently jointly developed by the Institute of Computing Technology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Dawning Information Industry Company. Li Guojie, chairman of Dawning Information Industry Company and director and academician of the Institute of Computing Technology, said research and development of the Dawning 6000 is expected to be completed in two years.

TopStar ATX[edit]

Topstar has also released a pair of Mini-ATX based motherboards, the TEB-6040M and TEB-5040.

Major events[edit]

Development of the first Loongson chip was started in 2001.

On 25 June 2008, Hu Weiwu (chief designer of Loongson processors) gave a keynote speech at ISCA 2008, held in Beijing. The topic of the speech was "Research and Development of Godson processors".[63]

2010 January, Jiangsu province plans to buy 1.5 million Loongson PCs.[64]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 龍芯處理器英文品牌定名Loongson
  2. ^ Wu, Yimian (23 May 2018). "China Supports Local Semiconductor Firms By Adding Them To Government Procurement List". China Money Network. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  3. ^ China's Microprocessor Dilemma(subscription required)
  4. ^ http://www.linleygroup.com/newsletters/newsletter_detail.php?num=4264
  5. ^ MIPS Technologies Licenses MIPS64 Architecture to STMicroelectronics Archived 19 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ China’s Institute of Computing Technology and STMicroelectronics announce their cooperation on the Loongson processors Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Godson-3 Emulates x86
  8. ^ China’s Institute of Computing Technology Licenses Industry-Standard MIPS Architectures Archived 7 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Loongson Licenses MIPS32® and MIPS64® Architectures for Embedded and Computing Applications Archived 4 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=andnpz5dILv0
  11. ^ cpu-museum.de Forum: Godson-1 and 2 Microprocessor Chips, 2005-Apr-20[dead link]
  12. ^ "1st version: 32nm 6-core processor". Archived from the original on 4 June 2014.
  13. ^ "2nd version: 28nm 8-core processor". Archived from the original on 21 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Results of benchmark test of Loongson-3B six-core desktop solution".
  15. ^ "Godson-3: A Scalable Multicore RISC Processor with x86 Emulation". IEEE. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  16. ^ 福瓏電腦WinCE 5.0 圖片 Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Company puts Android on laptop with China-backed chips
  18. ^ "linux-loongson/community (社区版龙芯Linux)". dev.lemote.com. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014.
  19. ^ Deepin Appstore for Loongson
  20. ^ Deepin Loongson ISO Download [permanent dead link]
  21. ^ Deepin Cooperate With Loongson
  22. ^ "MIPS Insider - Imagination Developers". Developer.mips.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
  23. ^ / (2014-01-21). "Home 路 paul99/v8m-rb Wiki 路 GitHub". Github.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
  24. ^ Arch Linux for Loongson
  25. ^ Archloong
  26. ^ Arch Linux for Lemote Desktop Environment Installation and Configuration[dead link]
  27. ^ Arch Linux for Loongson - Heiher's Blog Archived 5 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Arch Linux for Loongson Mirror Archived 1 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "CLFS Trac". Cross-lfs.org. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  30. ^ DebianYeeloong - Debian Wiki
  31. ^ "MIPS Port". Debian. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  32. ^ DebianYeeloong/HowTo/Install - Debian Wiki
  33. ^ "Architectures/MIPS". FedoraProject. 2011-01-27. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  34. ^ "Gentoo Linux Projects - Gentoo Linux MIPS Development". Gentoo.org. 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  35. ^ "gNewSense metad - gNewSense GNU/Linux". Wiki.gnewsense.org. 15 July 2011. Archived from the original on 9 May 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  36. ^ "MIPS Installation - Parabola GNU/Linux-Libre Wiki".
  37. ^ README
  38. ^ "kfreebsd-yeeloong in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  39. ^ "NetBSD/evbmips on Loongson MIPS64 CPUs". The NetBSD Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  40. ^ "OpenBSD/loongson". Openbsd.org. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  41. ^ MIPS LS2 Scheduling and tuning
  42. ^ "GCC 4.6 Release Series Changes, New Features, and Fixes". Free Software Foundation (FSF). 25 March 2011.
  43. ^ Open64 on MIPS: porting and enhancing Open64 for Loongson II
  44. ^ [1] Archived 3 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ Little-endian MIPS support -- first draft
  46. ^ "cpu". Archived from the original on 17 April 2009.
  47. ^ "L3A SPEC2000 ratio and rate scores".
  48. ^ "Loongson-T Architecture". Archived from the original on 13 April 2013.
  49. ^ "LinuxDevices article about the Municator". Archived from the original on 23 April 2006.
  50. ^ "Jisus subnotebook's Announcement". Archived from the original on 13 April 2008. (LinuxDevices, 8 April 2008)
  51. ^ Gdium subnotebook's Announcement Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine (4 June 2008)
  52. ^ Gdium in a fair at Berlin Archived 15 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  53. ^ OLPH Archived 28 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  54. ^ "Yeelong Specs". Archived from the original on 23 October 2008. (LinuxDevices, 22 Octobjer 2008)
  55. ^ Yeelong 8.9" netbook at tekmote.nl for 335.50€
  56. ^ 2011 Godson and the open source community development forum (Shanghai Station) extend the campus of Shanghai University Loongson 3A Mini-ITX motherboards & laptops introduced, configuration, spy photos
  57. ^ Loongson 3A Laptop Prototype Photos
  58. ^ "Lemote Announced Yeeloong-8133 Laptop". Archived from the original on 15 September 2011.
  59. ^ KD-50-I Home page Archived 29 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  60. ^ 中国“龙芯2F”国产万亿次高性能计算机研制成功
  61. ^ 中国“龙芯3A”国产万亿次高性能计算机研制成功
  62. ^ 中国“龙芯3B”国产万亿次高性能计算机研制成功
  63. ^ Main program of ISCA 2008 Archived 20 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  64. ^ Soon Loongson in 1.5 million computers[dead link]


External links[edit]