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Loongson (, "Dragon chip"; academic name: Godson) is a family of general-purpose MIPS-compatible CPU developed at the Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in the People's Republic of China. The chief architect is Professor Hu Weiwu.

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 advanced 32/64-bit Loongson general-purpose and embedded processors, together with developing software tools and reference platforms.

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

China uses Linux with its Loongson processor family to achieve technology independence.

MIPS patent issues

Loongson's instruction set is MIPS-compatible, 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.

In 2007, a deal was reached by MIPS Technologies and ICT. ST Microelectronics bought a MIPS license for Loongson and thus the processor can be promoted as MIPS-based or MIPS-compatible instead of...
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