China looks to take on the West with export CPUs

China wants its homebrew CPUs to compete head-on with the likes of Intel and AMD, declaring its intentions to start selling chips abroad 'just like we are selling clothes and shoes.'

That's the view of National People's Congress Deputy Hu Weiwu, the lead developer of the country's Loongson microprocessors - chips which will soon form the heart of China's latest supercomputer, the Dawning 6000.

"Our information industry was using foreign technology," Hu admitted in a statement to Chinese-language newspaper People's Daily. "Just like a country's industry cannot always depend on foreign steel and oil, China's information industry needs its own CPU."

Although China has previously had a world-beating supercomputer in the form of the ultra-fast Tianhe-1A, it relied upon US companies including Intel and Nvidia for the chips to make it go - something that Chinese officials were less than happy about.

Recent advances in the Loongson CPU design mean that it can finally start to offer serious competition to some of Intel's older chips - with the Dawning 6000 hitting supercomputing speeds with a mere 10,000 of the locally-produced processors.

While the Loongson architecture has quite some way to go before it looks tempting to manufacturers outside China, Hu claims that the time will come when companies world-wide turn to China, rather than the US, for their microprocessors.

"Hopefully after two decades, we will be able to sell our China-made CPUs to the US", Hu claimed, "just like we are selling clothes and shoes" - news that may give Western chip makers cause for concern.