China denies copying MIPS chip

Last week we wrote about the development of the Godson 2 chip, which is being developed by China as a replacement for processors from outside China. The Godson 2 is a 64-bit processor that uses parts of the MIPS instruction set and, according to data published last week, this CPU is said to be 95 percent compatible with the MIPS architecture. That architecture was developed by the American company MIPS Technologies, which holds patents on parts of the MIPS technology. Based on this information, it was suggested that the developers of the Godson 2 chip might infringe on some parties’ intellectual property. Last Saturday, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the makers of the Godson 2 chip, spoke in an article on People’s Daily Online. left to explain and clarify another.

Hu Weiwu, who works at CAS’s Godson program, strongly disagrees with claims that the Chinese chip infringes on other parties’ intellectual property because the Godson 2 chip is 95 percent compatible with other MIPS chips. According to Hu, more products are very similar on the outside, while they work completely different internally. He likens this to building two different apartments, but with two bedrooms, both facing south: ‘could anyone conclude that one copied another?’ MIPS Technologies has developed a product that works with 12 unaligned memory access instructions and is patent pending in the US, Japan, Korea, Canada and Australia. According to Hu, the Godson 2 works in a different way at the micro-architecture level, but it’s not clear which way.