Russian politics aside
Ok... I'm in complete disagreement from a technical perspective from the author. I feel as if there's a bit too much "Queen and Country" happening here. Patriotism and propaganda is fine, but there is so much more to this article than just "We're so much better than they are." In fact, this article should make the author seriously reevaluate that.
So, not long ago, China was embargoed and they were cut off from western technology. Since then they have
- launched a multi-pronged plan to mitigate the loss
- used ARM under a strange "ARM China is not ARM LTD" clause that allowed them to keep using ARM like crazy.
- moved approximately 50-200% faster on die process advancements than their western peers... depending on how you evaluate this. But whatever the case, it simply makes sense since their peers have to do things never done before and they only have to learn from what is already known.
- either licensed, bought or created most of the peripheral infrastructure surrounding CPUs including audio, video codecs, USB, MMU, interrupt controllers, DMA controllers, ethernet and more.
- launched a slew of RISC-V based processors and advanced RISC-V technology at least in terms of synthesis more than anyone else on earth.
- managed to use loopholes in the Cyrix x86 license via Via Tech to get a hold of x86 ISA (at least until Intel figures out how to go after this) x64 never really had these issues.
- Grabbed what I believe is S3 graphics tech which is nothing to write songs about but is a truly solid foundation for building on as they should be able to tack on a pile of specialized RISC-V cores to build most of the processing capacity and with some serious focus on memory technologies... meaning finding an HBM2 like solution and solving some pretty serious cache coherency issues, make a modern GPU.
Yesterday I was in front of a classroom and a student asked me to look at his progress on a project on his laptop. His machine was a several generation old Core i3 with 8 gigs of RAM. It was sluggish, but it was entirely usable even when loaded down by a very processor intensive application. I'd only guess that if I searched for a benchmark of this machine relative to the motherboards seen in this article, they'd be quite similar.
For HPC, Intel is not a requirement. Huawei and others solved this problem by producing CPUs which are less energy efficient than Intel or AMD but using solar energy and batteries for power. If you join a meeting with Huawei to buy a super computer, they present to you systems which they can deliver at any scale (as in Top500 systems) using Chinese technology and they can deliver power through solar. This is not a problem. And frankly, so long as it has a fully functional Linux toolchain including Python, Numpy, Scipy, Julia, C, C++, Fortran... I really don't care which instruction set I'm using. The only really important missing tool on the systems is Matlab, but it does have Octave ... which isn't really a replacement, but it could be good enough.
For telephones, there's ARM and soon RISC-V
For normal desktop, this x86 solution looks like it should be perfectly suitable for most users. Toss on a copy of Deepin Linux or ReactOS and it'll be fine.
Gaming and graphics workstations... that will require something else. And while everyone loves western and Japanese game studios... China is producing a crap ton of pretty good games these days... mostly on Unity and Unreal (I think) which I think could cause issues, I can honestly see China pushing Chinese and Chinese owned publishers to produce for a Chinese architecture. And let's be honest... most of the best games out there these days are well known for "they could run on a toaster"
At China's current rate of progress, they should meet or exceed western tech on every front within a few years... not necessarily always by looking at benchmarks and such, but based on user experience.
We can thank Donald Trump and Joe Biden for this. If it weren't for them, China probably would have kept chugging along at a moderate pace and had been happen just to keep using and licensing western tech. But thanks to the embargos which forced China to increase their efforts so drastically, we're going to see some truly amazing advancements in tech. This will be simply because the speed China can and is moving at is IMMENSE and soon everyone else will have to really push it into overdrive to avoid being left in the dust.
The tech world is going to be truly amazing now. I can't wait to see what comes from this.
What is so exciting is that there's absolutely nothing that can be done to slow China down now. Not only are they hellbent on never being crippled by the west again, but they need to do this for their economy. For them it's full speed ahead or bust.