In late 2022, the Chinese government banned exports of Loongson’s latest LS5000-series CPUs to Russia, citing national security concerns. But in March 2023, the U.S. blacklisted Loongson and limited its access to American technologies, which is perhaps why the Chinese government decided to lift the ban on exports of these CPUs. As a result, at least two Russian companies are planning to produce Loongson-based systems, reports Kommersant.
Norsi-Trans and Promobit are leading the initiative, aiming to produce servers, storage systems, and computers powered by Loongson’s 5000-series processors using the LoongArch architecture. So far, Norsi-Trans has purchased around 100 Loongson processors for the initial production phase. They have also received the green light for incorporation into the official registry of Russian electronics.
These Russian tech companies eye the Loongson processors as viable alternatives to their American counterparts from AMD and Intel. However, there is a slight catch: software support. Norsi-Trans will collaborate with BaseALT, an Alt operating system developer, to adapt the OS to work seamlessly with the Loongson processors. Meanwhile, it is unclear when BaseALT will tailor its OS for Loongson’s CPUs.