Loongson Technology is one of a few well-known CPU designers from China that is not on the U.S. blocklist, therefore potential investors can invest in the company without major risks. This week the company filed for an IPO on Shanghai’s STAR Market in a bid to raise money and fund the development of its future CPUs and GPUs.
Loongson plans to raise 3.5 billion yuan ($544 million) to replenish its working capital and increase its R&D spending on its next-generation CPUs and GPUs, reports Nikkei. The news agency claims that Loongson earned 1.1 billion yuan in operating revenue, two times more than in the previous year. But at the same time, its profitability in 2020 dropped to 72 million yuan from 193 million in 2019.
Earlier this year, Longson Technology introduced its own LoongArch architecture to power its processors. The company’s quad-core 3A5000 CPU for client PCs and 16-core 3C5000 CPU for multi-processor servers are the first chips to use the new architecture. The 3A5000 is already available, whereas the company will release the 3C5000 later this year.
Due to US restrictions, China cannot rely on hardware from companies like AMD, Intel, or Nvidia, making developing its own platform for exascale supercomputers one of its main challenges. To do so, China needs to develop high-performance GPUs in addition to high-performance CPUs. As it turns out, Loongson will be one of the companies that will develop GPUs that could potentially be used for next-gen supercomputers.
While Loongson is a privately owned company, the Chinese government has supported it through subsidies and tax breaks. Also, government offices have been buying PCs based on Loongson-developed CPUs since 2018.