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China claims 'MIPS-like' processor does not infringe

Posted: 08 Aug 2005     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:64-bit  godson-2 microprocessor 

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), developer of the 64-bit Godson-2 microprocessor, said Friday (July 29) that the processor infringes on no international intellectual property rights, according to the English language online version of The People's Daily.

The People's Daily article referred to an earlier report by market research company In-Stat, which said Godson-2 follows an unlicensed variation of the MIPS architecture belonging to MIPS Technologies Inc. In-Stat concluded that this could lead to intellectual property issues, particularly if the processor was marketed outside China.

"The In-Stat assessment on Godson-2 is mostly objective but some content of the assessment was distorted by a few irresponsible mass media outlets," the report quoted Hu Weiwu, principal investigator for the Godson program who works at the CAS Institute of Computing Technology, as saying.

In the report Hu acknowledged that his R&D team had labeled Godson-2 as "MIPS-like" for marketing benefits. "We're now realizing that it was not wise to do so," Hu is quoted as saying.

The report also quoted Hu arguing that just because a processor is 95 percent compatible with MIPS does not mean it infringes any patents. "Many well-known brands have 95 percent similarity, but at the micro-architecture level Godson-2 is a totally different story from the MIPS chip," the article quoted Hu as saying.

Hu was also reported to have used a comparison with civil architecture to try and make his point. Hu is quoted asking: "We built two different apartments, but with two bedrooms each facing the same direction. Could anyone conclude that one copied another?"

- Peter Clarke

EE Times

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