Author Topic: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread  (Read 4883 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline technix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3503
  • Country: cn
  • From Shanghai With Love
    • My Untitled Blog
This thread is all about those Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGAs: GD, Artery, Allwinner, Gowin, etc. The following incomplete list of companies are the ones would be considered name brands in Mainland China: (Links may be in Chinese)

32-bit MCU's:


32-bit and 64-bit MPU's, open docs not guaranteed:

  • 全志 Allwinner - Cortex-A. See linux-sunxi
  • 瑞芯微电子 Rockchip - Cortex-A with seemingly officially open docs. They apparently also do MCUs now...?
  • 龙芯 Loongson - MIPS32 and MIPS64. AFAIK they are the last serious manufacturer of high-performance MIPS systems suitable for workstations and servers, until they recently announced they have abandoned the MIPS ship to their own ISA after MIPS the company abandoned their namesake architecture and embraced RISC-V. Open docs partially available (adequate to bring the chip up but certain advanced features not available.) They will sell higher end chips themselves in quantity of one and they have a dedicated small quantity order distributor for lower-end IoT chips intended for makers.
  • 君正 Ingenic - MIPS32.
  • 兆芯 Zhaoxin - amd64 via collaboration with VIA. You can buy Zhaoxin-powered PC's now and they will run stock Windows. Actually you can buy full PC made with exclusively Mainland Chinese parts and still have it run Windows, if you put together Zhaoxin CPU, Uni-IC SDRAM modules, Yangtze Memory SSD and forgo spinning rust hard drives.
  • 海思 Hisilicon - Cortex-A. Obviously. Subsidiary of Huawei. No open docs

FPGA's:


I will update this list when new interesting companies pops up.

Please look at those chips and their ecosystems on their own merit, as if it is delivered in a tray or in a product with its own correct marking instead of having its markings rubbed and replaced by some bastards. While some of the companies above makes chips that is pin-compatible (even bug-compatible) with certain Western brands, please do not let that cloud your judgement, as those chips are as legitimate as Dell and HP PC's.

Notes about "Customer Control": Some manufacturers now implements customer control schemes, which places (honestly very stupid) barrier in front of official access to the chips and maybe the docs. This usually means that:
  • You will be asked about your company and details of the project before they give you access to anything. If all you want is docs but not bulk chips even in the future, take this as a hint to present you and the entity you are approaching them as a design house, which will tear down a lot of volume-based barriers.
  • Low to mid volume customers will be outright denied access from official sources, unless you have established yourself as a design house which will open access to you but only samples and docs.
  • You are generally required to stick to the first reseller/distributor that gave you access to the docs and the chips, as jumping between suppliers is seen as unfaithful and untrustworthy.
  • You are generally required not to resell your stock even if you over-ordered parts.
As an employee of such chip makers claims, this comes from the Chinese chip makers' deep fear of competitors and straight up forgers copying their products. (Chinese bite fellow Chinese the hardest.) The Chinese laws on copyright infringement was fairly recent to begin with and received a major refactor just last year, so the long-rooted distrust during the Wild West years remained. Thus they treat any newcomers as hostile unless proven trustworthy through long periods of cooperations.

Given that, do not expect all chips listed above being available from traditionally trustworthy online distributors, as those are explicitly banned from accessing those chips behind customer control.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 02:13:00 am by technix »
 

Offline ali_asadzadeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1509
  • Country: ca
Re: Chinese 32-bit MCU's Megathread
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2021, 06:07:50 am »
Thanks for sharing, it would be very nice if you could tell which part numbers from the brands has the lowest price, so we can choose them sooner, also if you could tell which parts are very poplar out there, it would help too. :-+
I'm a Digital Expert from 8-bits to 64-bits
 
The following users thanked this post: josip

Offline technix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3503
  • Country: cn
  • From Shanghai With Love
    • My Untitled Blog
Re: Chinese 32-bit MCU's Megathread
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 06:10:05 am »
Thanks for sharing, it would be very nice if you could tell which part numbers from the brands has the lowest price, so we can choose them sooner, also if you could tell which parts are very poplar out there, it would help too. :-+
The prices are currently all over the place.

As of the popular ones, the usual rule of the thumb is go with the one that is Bluepill compatible.
 

Offline ali_asadzadeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1509
  • Country: ca
Re: Chinese 32-bit MCU's Megathread
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2021, 06:50:55 am »
thanks for the reply, do we have a sub 0.5$ part for replacing STM32F030KT6? note that the pinout is not important, since we can design a NEW PCB, I need something in the 0.5$ price range with at least 32KB Flash and 4K RAM
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 06:56:20 am by ali_asadzadeh »
I'm a Digital Expert from 8-bits to 64-bits
 

Offline technix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3503
  • Country: cn
  • From Shanghai With Love
    • My Untitled Blog
Re: Chinese 32-bit MCU's Megathread
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2021, 08:11:10 am »
thanks for the reply, do we have a sub 0.5$ part for replacing STM32F030KT6? note that the pinout is not important, since we can design a NEW PCB, I need something in the 0.5$ price range with at least 32KB Flash and 4K RAM
If it is normal times I would be flinging datasheets at you. For now sadly there is none.
 
The following users thanked this post: ali_asadzadeh

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2250
  • Country: nz
  • Formerly SiFive, Samsung R&D
Re: Chinese 32-bit MCU's Megathread
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 11:44:56 am »
I will update this list when new interesting companies pops up.

I appreciate it! But how can you forget Paduak? Oh, right, you said 32 bit.

Do you know enough about them to also cover applications processors? The Allwinners and Rockchips and I don't know what else? Many of their products are priced comparably to MCUs. I believe some of them have in-package DRAM -- I heard some or even most models of the new Allwinner D1 will have, and an external DRAM bus might be unusual. They do tend to come in difficult to use packages though.

I think most of us appreciate the genuine Chinese manufacturers and the engineers who work in them.
 
The following users thanked this post: soFPG

Offline technix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3503
  • Country: cn
  • From Shanghai With Love
    • My Untitled Blog
Re: Chinese 32-bit MCU's Megathread
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 02:32:36 pm »
I appreciate it! But how can you forget Paduak? Oh, right, you said 32 bit.

Do you know enough about them to also cover applications processors? The Allwinners and Rockchips and I don't know what else? Many of their products are priced comparably to MCUs. I believe some of them have in-package DRAM -- I heard some or even most models of the new Allwinner D1 will have, and an external DRAM bus might be unusual. They do tend to come in difficult to use packages though.

I think most of us appreciate the genuine Chinese manufacturers and the engineers who work in them.
Chinese Application Processor makers usually keeps their documentations to themselves and intentionally bury bugs in the docs to force anyone that want to make any viable projects to rely on their support and submit to their customers control system. Since that system isn't exactly friendly to makers, I will largely ignore them unless there are significant mainlining efforts going on and I can verify that you can buy their chips on quantity of 10 or less and have access to a largely bug-free set of docs.

On the other hand, I may expand this thread to cover Chinese FPGAs, some of which also have hard MCU cores.
 

Offline technix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3503
  • Country: cn
  • From Shanghai With Love
    • My Untitled Blog
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2021, 03:49:21 pm »
Bump: MASSIVE edit adding MPU and FPGA to the thread, and adding Chinese names to the companies involved.
 
The following users thanked this post: JPortici

Offline TimCambridge

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Country: gb
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2021, 05:39:50 pm »
Are there any distribution outlets for these parts?

Outside China?

Inside China but accessible for medium volume?

LCSC has/had a few WCH parts. Mouser used to stock Gowin, Edge may still be distributing Gowin.
 

Offline ali_asadzadeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1509
  • Country: ca
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2021, 05:55:53 pm »
Quote
Bump: MASSIVE edit adding MPU and FPGA to the thread, and adding Chinese names to the companies involved.
Thanks for sharing, Gowin is very good, Please add more info on Cortex A parts and very low priced MCU families.
I'm a Digital Expert from 8-bits to 64-bits
 

Offline technix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3503
  • Country: cn
  • From Shanghai With Love
    • My Untitled Blog
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2021, 06:47:01 pm »
Are there any distribution outlets for these parts?

Outside China?
I have no clue on this. Most MCU should be available on outlets like LCSC once the supply chain goes back to normal. As of the AP SoC and FPGA parts, you will have to jump through hoops or use less-than-reliable sources.

Inside China but accessible for medium volume?
For most MCU, once again, LCSC. For AP SoC and FPGA, you will need a company set up and Mandarin-speaking employees for any volume, and you have to play along with the customer control schemes.

LCSC has/had a few WCH parts. Mouser used to stock Gowin, Edge may still be distributing Gowin.
LCSC is suffering from severe chip storages (as do everywhere) but as soon as things go back to normal WCH parts should come back on LCSC. Gowin is implementing customer control now so their products are pulled from most online platforms.

Quote
Bump: MASSIVE edit adding MPU and FPGA to the thread, and adding Chinese names to the companies involved.
Thanks for sharing, Gowin is very good, Please add more info on Cortex A parts and very low priced MCU families.
Once again, I will not add brands that have no public access to parts and docs even from less than reliable sources, unless the brand is well known enough.
 
The following users thanked this post: TimCambridge

Online nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 21259
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: Chinese 32-bit MCU's Megathread
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2021, 07:45:26 pm »
I appreciate it! But how can you forget Paduak? Oh, right, you said 32 bit.

Do you know enough about them to also cover applications processors? The Allwinners and Rockchips and I don't know what else? Many of their products are priced comparably to MCUs. I believe some of them have in-package DRAM -- I heard some or even most models of the new Allwinner D1 will have, and an external DRAM bus might be unusual. They do tend to come in difficult to use packages though.

I think most of us appreciate the genuine Chinese manufacturers and the engineers who work in them.
Chinese Application Processor makers usually keeps their documentations to themselves and intentionally bury bugs in the docs to force anyone that want to make any viable projects to rely on their support and submit to their customers control system. Since that system isn't exactly friendly to makers, I will largely ignore them unless there are significant mainlining efforts going on and I can verify that you can buy their chips on quantity of 10 or less and have access to a largely bug-free set of docs.
This looks interesting but which parts have English documentation available? I just looked at Anlogic website but no English version of the website (but that can be worked around with Google translate so no big problem) and access to datasheets is behind a login so I have no idea whether there are English datasheets are available.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline olkipukki

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 738
  • Country: 00
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2021, 09:49:40 pm »
How come Espressif has been forgotten?  :o
 
The following users thanked this post: technix

Offline technix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3503
  • Country: cn
  • From Shanghai With Love
    • My Untitled Blog
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2021, 03:14:28 am »
How come Espressif has been forgotten?  :o
Oof my bad, forgot those Xtensa cores are also 32-bit. Added.
 

Offline technix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3503
  • Country: cn
  • From Shanghai With Love
    • My Untitled Blog
Re: Chinese 32-bit MCU's Megathread
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2021, 04:07:41 am »
This looks interesting but which parts have English documentation available? I just looked at Anlogic website but no English version of the website (but that can be worked around with Google translate so no big problem) and access to datasheets is behind a login so I have no idea whether there are English datasheets are available.
I didn't really go through that consideration... I know GD and Espressif have good English docs. Allwinner's docs are passable at best. Artery and Loongson's IoT lineup have acceptable docs IMO.

Speaking of Loongson, their LS1C0300 MPU is one of those chips that allows Linux without BGA, although it uses external SDR PC133 SDRAM instead of having SiP memory. They also have a few MIPS MCU under Loongson 1 umbrella. Also they have some military, space and other harsh environment chips that is not listed on their website. (Beidou GNSS satellites runs on Loongson space-grade processors.)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 04:10:16 am by technix »
 

Offline ali_asadzadeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1509
  • Country: ca
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2021, 06:58:46 am »
technix, How can I contact this company hsxp-hk.com, they have HK32F030K6T6 ^-^ I think it can be used for replacing STM32F030K6T6, do you have their email or skype account? they have a china phone line for contact, and certainly I can not talk Chinese :'(
Please help me to be In Touch with them, trough email.

thanks
I'm a Digital Expert from 8-bits to 64-bits
 

Offline technix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3503
  • Country: cn
  • From Shanghai With Love
    • My Untitled Blog
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2021, 07:08:54 am »
technix, How can I contact this company hsxp-hk.com, they have HK32F030K6T6 ^-^ I think it can be used for replacing STM32F030K6T6, do you have their email or skype account? they have a china phone line for contact, and certainly I can not talk Chinese :'(
Please help me to be In Touch with them, trough email.

thanks
The best thing I can do for you is try. Be prepared that they may not be ready to take on foreign customers though.
 

Offline ali_asadzadeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1509
  • Country: ca
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2021, 08:09:53 am »
thanks :-+
I'm a Digital Expert from 8-bits to 64-bits
 

Online ralphrmartin

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 409
  • Country: gb
    • Me
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2021, 07:29:06 pm »
Thanks for posting their names in Chinese characters - its very helpful when trying to track them down on taobao and other Chinese sites. :-+ :-+
 
The following users thanked this post: soFPG

Offline technix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3503
  • Country: cn
  • From Shanghai With Love
    • My Untitled Blog
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2021, 06:38:57 am »
technix, How can I contact this company hsxp-hk.com, they have HK32F030K6T6 ^-^ I think it can be used for replacing STM32F030K6T6, do you have their email or skype account? they have a china phone line for contact, and certainly I can not talk Chinese :'(
Please help me to be In Touch with them, trough email.

thanks
I got the docs for those HK32 chips, although they only have Chinese docs. I am asking them for possible Email contact and how to get samples.
 

Offline ali_asadzadeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1509
  • Country: ca
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2021, 09:50:39 am »
Quote
I got the docs for those HK32 chips, although they only have Chinese docs. I am asking them for possible Email contact and how to get samples.
Chinese docs is better than nothing, I hope they do it with email too.
Thanks for your help :-+ :-+
I'm a Digital Expert from 8-bits to 64-bits
 
The following users thanked this post: soFPG

Offline soFPG

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 276
  • Country: de
Re: Chinese 32-bit MCU's Megathread
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2021, 02:31:13 pm »
Chinese Application Processor makers usually keeps their documentations to themselves and intentionally bury bugs in the docs to force anyone that want to make any viable projects to rely on their support and submit to their customers control system.

But why? I thought most companies want as few customer requests as possible to reduce service costs?
 

Offline Ice-Tea

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2433
  • Country: be
    • Freelance Hardware Engineer
Re: Chinese 32-bit MCU's Megathread
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2021, 03:00:46 pm »
Chinese Application Processor makers usually keeps their documentations to themselves and intentionally bury bugs in the docs to force anyone that want to make any viable projects to rely on their support and submit to their customers control system.

But why? I thought most companies want as few customer requests as possible to reduce service costs?

I imagine they don't the service requests, they want the sales leads.

Offline soFPG

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 276
  • Country: de
Re: Mainland Chinese 32-bit MCU's, MPU's and FPGA's Megathread
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2021, 03:18:17 pm »
Why would I buy a chip which has defects in its datasheet?

It just makes me mad to think about the projects I could make if a Cortex A7 chip from e.g. Allwinner would have open documentation (at the price they are selling currently)  |O
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 03:20:50 pm by soFPG »
 

Offline technix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3503
  • Country: cn
  • From Shanghai With Love
    • My Untitled Blog
Re: Chinese 32-bit MCU's Megathread
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2021, 04:22:19 pm »
I imagine they don't the service requests, they want the sales leads.
This is only partially true. The bigger reason is...

But why? I thought most companies want as few customer requests as possible to reduce service costs?
Why would I buy a chip which has defects in its datasheet?

It just makes me mad to think about the projects I could make if a Cortex A7 chip from e.g. Allwinner would have open documentation (at the price they are selling currently)  |O
They want to know who exactly is using their products. And by intentionally burying bugs in it they force all chip users to ask questions so they can do their KYC. Before they would provide you any answers they will do the full KYC and get the bottom out of the background of the people and the company behind it. (It usually must be a company with established manufacturing capabilities. Schools, startups and individual makers are almost always turned away without even hearing the question, and you will be denied access to any parts too. Posing a startup as a design house may allow you access to the docs, but that will give you trouble if you want to scale up yourselves.)

There is absolutely zero trust from most Chinese companies to each other, you always assume every stranger as a potential bad actor.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 04:25:06 pm by technix »
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf