Citing various “sources”, ExtremeTech reports (via EETimes) that China is working on to plan single instruction set architecture (ISA) standard – the system that describes how computer hardware deals with programming, commands, and other inputs and outputs. MIPS Technologies says that the government is hoping to either approve a newly created ISA or one built off an existing system. “They want a common software ecosystem,” says Robert Bismuth of MIPS, “and the only way to get that is with a common ISA.” If it approves a new ISA, it could end up being required for projects that receive government funding. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) hosted the first “China National Instruction Set Architecture” meeting in March, means the ISA is on the chart and will come into the picture soon now. The president of ARM says that “we are of course aware of this initiative. It is not new, and has been in discussion for many, many months.” Although it would be possible to develop a new ISA, he continues, building an ecosystem around it would be far more difficult.
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