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China's gadget processor pirated from U.S., says firm

China has produced the second version of the first microprocessor produced in the country, according to research firm In-Stat, and it's largely a copy of the MIPS chip invented by the company of the same name based in the U.S.

The Godson-2 (also known as the Dragon chip) is 95 percent compatible with the MIPS architecture. While China is only producing it for its domestic market now, legal intellectual property problems could occur in the future if it ends up in products bound for other parts of the world. MIPS, conceivably, could sue a manufacturer selling a product containing a Godson-2.

"The Godson-2 is similar to the MIPS R10000, introduced in 1995. These similarities could raise some controversial intellectual-property issues, because MIPS Technologies has no connection with Godson and hasn't licensed any technology to the Godson designers," the firm stated.

MIPS was created back in the 80s by John Hennessey (now president of Stanford) and Forest Baskett (now a venture capitalist at New Enterprise Associates) and became the chip that help make Silicon Graphics a household name for a couple of years. Later, Silicon Graphics renamed itself SGI and spun MIPS off into a separate company.