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China begins production of x86 processors based on AMD's IP
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-07-09 19:13:49

Chinese-designed "Dhyana" x86 processors based on AMD's Zen microarchitecture are beginning to surface from Chinese chip producer Hygon. The processors come as the fruit of AMD's x86 IP licensing agreements with its China-based partners and break the decades-long stranglehold on x86 held by the triumvirate of Intel, AMD and VIA Technologies. Details are also emerging that outline how AMD has managed to stay within the boundaries of the x86 licensing agreements but still allow Chinese-controlled interests to design and sell processors based on the Zen design.

Even though I doubt this will have any meaningful impact on competition, it's always good to see new x86 manufacturers. The licensing situation around x86 always feels impenetrable and mysterious to me, almost as if it was specifically designed and set up to divide up the x86 market, a huge cash cow for several decades now. With ARM use being on the rise and the architecture even making its first inroads into laptops, servers, and maybe even desktops, the x86 cash cow is starting to look mightily starved.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-18
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RE[3]: until
By galvanash on 2018-07-10 21:36:43
This is about high-end stuff, i.e. Xeons and whatnot. The US ban doesn't apply to laptop and desktop processors.
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RE[3]: until
By galvanash on 2018-07-10 22:04:01
Loongson, imo, is partly the reason this is happening. After 10 years of work they only managed to reach about 1/3 of the performance of a mid range Core i5 on native code. On emulating x86 code it is more like the performance of a very low end Haswell, if that. There are some specific things it is fairly good at (SIMD stuff), but its not enough to make up for the rest. Given another 3-5 years, and assuming they get to the point where they can compete on the process side of things, I still don't see it being a really competitive CPU...

I basically think this means they are throwing in the towel on Loongson, at least when it comes to supercomputer aspirations. One of these Dhyana processors (assuming they are mostly on par with their AMD counterparts) is probably worth 4-6 Loongsons in a supercomputer cluster...

tldr; I think this means Loongson is dead.

ps. I would also add that while this AMD deal seems like a new thing, it has been in the works for over 2 years. There hasn't been much news about new Loongson developments since 2016. Not a coincidence imo.

Edited 2018-07-10 22:14 UTC
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RE[4]: until
By kwan_e on 2018-07-11 01:22:26
> One of these Dhyana processors (assuming they are mostly on par with their AMD counterparts) is probably worth 4-6 Loongsons in a supercomputer cluster...

tldr; I think this means Loongson is dead.


What's stopping them from applying the Dhyana technology to Loongson?
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[5]: until
By galvanash on 2018-07-11 05:16:11
> What's stopping them from applying the Dhyana technology to Loongson?

They went to a lot of trouble to make Loongson (a MIPS64 CPU) capable of running x86 code, and in the end it never really ran it all that well. Why would they bother to try and enhance it any more when they have the real thing now?

I think it is much more likely that they apply a few things they learned along the way from Loongson to Dhyana to be honest...

Edited 2018-07-11 05:21 UTC
Permalink - Score: 4
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RE[4]: until
By galvanash on 2018-07-11 05:17:35
Wish I could mod this up...
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RE: Conspiracy Theory
By emphyrio on 2018-07-11 07:47:55
>

...

Without giving them some avenue to acquire this IP odds are China would heavily invest in ARM (which is not a US company and US sanctions don't apply to them).
...



If it does business in the US or with US companies, US sanction apply, or they will when the US government closes the legal loophole.

Apart from that, ARM is owned by a Japanese company. I haven't checked, but I suspect it is very likely export restrictions to Chine from Japan are at least at the level of those from the US.

Edited 2018-07-11 07:48 UTC
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RE[2]: Conspiracy Theory
By galvanash on 2018-07-11 10:25:41
> Apart from that, ARM is owned by a Japanese company. I haven't checked, but I suspect it is very likely export restrictions to China from Japan are at least at the level of those from the US.

ARM already does business in China...

https://www.eetimes.com/document....

If Japan or anyone else wanted to block ARM from doing business there, they are about 2 years to late...
Permalink - Score: 3
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@Alfman
By zima on 2018-07-13 18:30:15
So, China yet again ( http://www.osnews.com/thread?658... ) prefers to not develop own tech... :P (I would do the same...)
Permalink - Score: 2

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