As the most widely used PC and server processors, X86 is an obstacle to the development of high-performance processors in China. Because of the privatization of X86 instruction set, the development of X86 only depends on authorization. On this issue, the most breakthrough progress in China is that AMD authorized Zen Architecture to China Haiguang Company.
In early 2016, AMD announced a cooperation agreement with China Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co., Ltd. (THATIC), which authorized the Zen Architecture Processor to Haiguang, a subsidiary of China Science and Technology Dawning Group. In order to avoid potential legal troubles, Haiguang and AMD have established two companies, Chengdu Haiguang Microelectronics Technology Co., Ltd (HMC) and Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit Design Co., Ltd (Hygon). AMD's shares in these two companies are 51% and 30% respectively, that is, a relative holding, and the other is an absolute holding by the Chinese side.
Since 2017, Family 18h processor, code-named Dhyana (Zen), has been appearing frequently in Linux patches. It is basically a copy of AMD's own processor. After all, the first generation of products will not be too demanding to start.
The products based on domestic Haiguang X86 processors have actually been on the market for a long time. At the beginning of this year, Sino-Tech Dawning launched the W330-H35 workstation based on Haiguang 3000 series processors, which uses 8-core 3.0GHz processors.
From the introduction point of view, this workstation mainframe core components such as CPU, motherboard and all other domestic, for all kinds of X86 systems to provide white box hardware support capabilities. With 8 cores and 16 threads and 3.0GHz main frequency, all kinds of performance scores can reach the mainstream computer level.
Haiguang 3000 series uses x86 universal architecture, fully supports mainstream operating systems such as Windows 10 Pro, Windows Server 2019, Linux Centos 7.x.
In addition, Haiguang's X86 processor has not only the 4-8 core version of AM4 slot, but also the server version similar to EPYC, which should be up to 32 cores and 64 threads. The explosion on Twitter shows the basic frequency of 2.0 GHz, the acceleration frequency can reach 3.0 GHz, and covers a number of product lines from 4 cores to 32 cores.
However, Haiguang's X86 processor licensing may be at the level of the first generation Zen. AMD CEO Lisa Su (Su Zifeng) confirmed in a media interview that AMD did not further authorize chip design to its Chinese joint venture company, that is to say, Chinese companies could not obtain Zen2 and future Zen3, Zen4, Zen5 architectures.
Without Zen's subsequent architecture authorization, will the development of domestic X86 cause trouble? According to the research of financial architecture, Haiguang has set up more than 500 R&D teams. Haiguang chips have been produced on a large scale since 2018. It is expected that in 2019, the chips will have the ability of independent design and iteration, and the volume of chips will be realized throughout the year.