与胡伟武老师闲聊

By , May 29, 2007 2:01 am

今天中午有幸与中科院计算所的胡伟武老师、史岗老师、章隆兵老师还有Sun 公司的两位同事共进午餐,从胡老师那里了解到了不少龙芯处理器的最新进展,受益菲浅。

早在去年7 月份,就有了关于龙芯3 号将要达到16核的说法。胡老师很乐观地说,由于龙芯在设计中非常重视高伸缩性,因此从单核到多核的过渡难度不会很高。2008年夏天的时候,会先出一个4 核的版本,争取在2009年的时候出16核的版本。每个核的主频大概是1 个GHz 左右,而功耗只有2 瓦左右,这样一个16核的总功耗只有30瓦上下,可见龙芯在降低功耗方面确实是下了不少力气。

对比数据:
Intel Xeon E7520 :1 核,单核主频为3.2 GHz,平均功耗为100瓦
Sun UltraSparc T1: 8 核,每个核运行四个1.2 GHz的硬件线程,平均功耗为320瓦

由于龙芯处理器为MIPS体系结构,与我们平时常用的x86 体系结构互不兼容,所以我们常用的操作系统和应用软件都不能够直接在龙芯处理器上运行。龙芯3 号将通过一个指令集转换层将其他体系结构的指令转换成龙芯的核心指令,从而同时兼容例如x86 和Sparc等等不同的体系结构。说得通俗点,就是龙芯3 号提供了一个超级虚拟机,这个虚拟机能够虚拟x86 以及其他体系结构。在理想的情况下,在龙芯3 号上面就可以不经修改的安装运行Windows以及基于Windows的应用软件了,当然还可以安装运行Solaris for x86以及各种不同的Linux发行版。

通过硬件实现对不同指令集的支持,当然不是什么新东西,但是这个举措却能够为龙芯开辟广阔的市场前景。在此之前,MIPS体系结构可以说是软件开发商和系统集成商选用龙芯的极高门槛(也是拒绝龙芯的绝佳理由)。但是突然之间这个门槛轰然倒塌了,所有基于Windows和Linux的应用程序,不经修改也无须再次编译就可以直接部署到基于龙芯处理器的桌面和服务器上。可以想象,在支持与保护民族产业的政策下,在政府、医疗、教育等等需要纳税人买单的领域,选用龙芯处理器将成为众多项目可行性研究报告上的一大亮点。

Sun 公司正在帮助龙芯进行Java虚拟机和运行环境的移植工作。在今年6 月14日的举办的2007年中国软件博览会上,将会有一位来自龙芯的工程师介绍这部分工作的进展。:-)

Mr. Gong Li Joint Mozilla China

By , May 10, 2007 6:02 am

This is something interesting — Mr. Gong Li might be the Chairman and CEO of Mozilla China shortly.

Mr. Gong Li is a highly respected figure by many of the people working at Sun China Engineering and Research Institute (ERI). He graduated from Tsinghua University, and obtained his doctorate degree from Cambridge. While he was with Sun, he was a Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect of Java Security, and General Manager of Sun China ERI. He left Sun and became the General Manager of MSN China in the summer of 2005, but left suddenly in November 2006 with no further information. Legal documents related to the Microsoft-Goole Hiring dispute revealed that Mr. Gong Li was pursueing a position at Google China before leaving Sun, but that position got hijacked by the notorious Kaifu Lee. After Gong Li’s departure from Microsoft, there have been words saying that he is seeking an academic position at Tsinghua University. Well, this has been proved to be not the case by Mitchell.

Mr. Gong Li had a long history with the Mozilla project. It is Sun China ERI that maintains the Solaris version of Mozilla and FireFox. It is also Mr. Gong Li that helped the establishment of Mozilla China. Mitchell’s blog did not disclose further arrangement for Gong Li’s role and responsibilities, but Sin-Yaw Wang believed that he is going to be the Chairman and CEO of Mozilla China. Sin-Yaw Wang also pointed out that what Gong Li is joining is Mozilla.Com instead of Mozilla.Org.

Well, this seems to be a nice position, and we wish Mr. Gong Li all the best.

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