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posted by martyb on Monday November 20 2023, @01:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the go-have-a-ball! dept.

Russia pivots to Chinese CPUs that aren't subject to US sanctions — Russia's homegrown Linux-based Alt OS now supports Chinese LoongArch chips

The Alt operating system developed by Moscow, Russia-based Basalt SPO has been recompiled to support Chinese Loongson processors based on the LoongArch architecture. Blacklisted Loongson has actively supported the porting process. The OS is available as a distro with a basic set of programs (Firefox, GIMP, LibreOffice) that can be installed on desktops, workstations, and servers. The company says the product is offered 'as is,' and its commercial distributives will be available later.

Alt is now the first Russian operating system capable of running on Loongson's processors based on the 64-bit LoongArch architecture, such as LS5000 and LS6000 series, which some in Russia consider alternatives to x86 CPUs from AMD and Intel. Recently, China lifted the export ban on Loongson's latest CPUs to Russia, which opened doors to using these processors in desktops, laptops, servers, storage equipment, and other applications.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by RamiK on Monday November 20 2023, @01:48PM (9 children)

    by RamiK (1813) on Monday November 20 2023, @01:48PM (#1333601)
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Mojibake Tengu on Monday November 20 2023, @02:46PM (8 children)

      by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Monday November 20 2023, @02:46PM (#1333609) Journal

      Loongson in Debian is practically useless because the platform itself is unobtainium, cannot be legally exported from China. Except for Russia and that's new situation.

      Another problem with it is, the U.S. sanctions against Huawei formally prevents accepting Loongson patches into Linux kernel. This is fuzzy but it also makes Debian less credent.

      I consider AltOS a Linux fork already.

      --
      Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
      • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 20 2023, @03:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 20 2023, @03:04PM (#1333612)

        credent [ kreed-nt ] adjective

                Archaic. believing.
                Obsolete. credible.

      • (Score: 2) by loonycyborg on Monday November 20 2023, @04:15PM (3 children)

        by loonycyborg (6905) on Monday November 20 2023, @04:15PM (#1333622)

        Loongson is a descendant of MIPS so it's not completely alien ground though. And not sure how it's related to Huawei. Isn't Loongson developed by unrelated company?

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by Mojibake Tengu on Monday November 20 2023, @05:01PM (2 children)

          by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Monday November 20 2023, @05:01PM (#1333625) Journal

          LoongArch ISA has over 2000 proprietary instructions. I wouldn't call that a MIPS, even if it may be slightly compatible to some subsets of MIPS64. Frankly, MIPS is not my hobby and neither Loong is.

          As corporation, Loongson is on the same U.S. "Entity List" as Huawei. It's actually about 35+ companies, some even of other countries, but the "Huawei Blacklist" is adequate vulgar identification of the document. That's what "Huawei sanctions" means to me.

          Besides usual cameras and stuff, Huawei does a lot of fresh new network devices, they may have a good use for LoongArch in routers and switches. Network stuff which recently replaced creepy Micron because of Micron's fail of security audits. That's what the "ban of Micron" actually was about, untrusted network devices, not components.

          I also found one Loongson in a funny LED Projector contraption. Cute toy, it must be buried somewhere here but I can't find it to check the brand...

          --
          Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by loonycyborg on Monday November 20 2023, @05:42PM

            by loonycyborg (6905) on Monday November 20 2023, @05:42PM (#1333635)

            From what I gather 2000 instructions came from counting all variants of SIMD extension it adds. But basic set involves removing some obsolete instructions from MIPS and changing internal encoding because of patent concerns, change that can be handled relatively easily in compiler.

          • (Score: 2) by driverless on Wednesday November 22 2023, @06:39AM

            by driverless (4770) on Wednesday November 22 2023, @06:39AM (#1333829)

            Loongson is a kinda meh processor that seems to exist mostly so China can claim some level of independence from the US-based x86/64 duopoly. However since it's hard enough to get barely-performant Loongson CPUs in China, you can imagine what sort of leftover dross Russia is going to get handed to it, if they ever get any at all after native Chinese demand is satisfied.

      • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Monday November 20 2023, @05:06PM (2 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 20 2023, @05:06PM (#1333628) Journal

        Ahhh - I had to look to see what you mean by "practically useless because the platform itself is unobtainium". Seriously, all I heard was a "whoosh".

        For building Loongson targets, a Loongson build machine is needed.

        https://github.com/Loongbian/loongson-os-builder-2k [github.com]

        So, I can't build the OS on AMD, or whatever, because it won't build, right? I've got to have a Loongson CPU and motherboard to even get started.

        --
        ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
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