China’s CPU rival to Intel and AMD is rapidly catching up on a key metric — but don’t expect it to be competitive with Ryzens and Cores anytime soon

You might not be too familiar with Loongson, but it has been developing computer processors since 2000, and in China the company is widely viewed as the grandfather of domestic CPUs.

The launch of Loongson 1 in 2002 was China’s first independently developed general-purpose CPU, using the MIPS III instruction set. in 2020 Loongson transitioned from the MIPS instruction set to its independent instruction set, LoongArch (which is widely viewed as being a clone of MIPS). The first LoongArch-supported processor, the 3A5000, debuted in 2021, marking the beginning of the Loongson ecosystem’s Dragon architecture era.