Zhaoxin Dedicated to Developing x86 CPU's, to Partner with TSMC

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Zarathustra[H], Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Chinese company Shanghai Zhaoxin Semiconductor, jointly owned by VIA Technologies and the Shanghai Municipal Government, has announced that the company will be partnering with TSMC to produce it's in house developed 28nm x86 processors, based on Centaur Technology's x86 microarchitecture designs. A 16nm design is planned for 2018.

    The company's chip performance is reportedly currently lagging far behind that of its international rivals, but has made much progress in its own development. It is unclear if we will ever see Zhaoxin chips here in the U.S. VIA Technologies has a FTC enforced cross-licensing deal with Intel through 2018, but it is unclear what happens after that time.

    Thanks to Cageymaru for the link.

    Zhaoxin is committed to developing China's homegrown processors, which will require support from its manufacturing partners, Fu noted. The company is looking to cooperate with leading foundries such as TSMC, which provides advanced-node technologies for high-performance and low-power processors and other chip solutions, Fu said.
     
  2. Taldren

    Taldren Gawd

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    How are they going to do this exactly, when AMD and Intel own all the patents for x86?
     
  3. MOS8580

    MOS8580 n00b

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    The same way the Chinese knock every else off. Just do it and "catch me if you can."
     
  4. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    Doesn't VIA have licensing agreements? They used to years ago at least.
     
  5. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    TMK VIA still holds the license.
     
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  6. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    x86 expired a long time ago.

    The agreements with AMD and VIA all relate to new extensions added to the x86 set. Granted, without many of those extensions it can be hard to make an efficient chip, but that would explain why they are lagging behind in performance. Now, x86-64 (AMD), SSE etc etc are all still very valid.
     
  7. Jim Kim

    Jim Kim 2[H]4U

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    They're making 4.8 ghz i7-6850k killers that are socket compatible with AM4/2011-V3/1150/1151 for only $37.50CDN.
     
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  8. ChadD

    ChadD 2[H]4U

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    Via can make x86 chips until 2018. After that who knows. My bet is they are looking at x86 as a way to get some experience... and to get products moving. Long term I am sure they wither plan to move to ARM or power... or a fully home grown core. The Chinese gov got very annoyed with the US gov a year or so ago when they decided China should no longer be able to buy the latest greatest tech for their super computers, after they assumed China used one of their super computers to simulate weapons tests. Since then China has developed a plan to spend a crazy amount of money something like 200 billion over a very short time frame to built a fully Chinese chip industry. Their biggest website datahouses have already started moving to Chinese made ARM and Power equipped systems.... I believe this smaller x86 play is just China not putting all their eggs in one basket. If the guys they have working on the x86 chips come up with some great new ideas great, if not they have 20 other companies working on ARM POWER and their own brand new RISC designs.

    China is going to brute force their way into the market so they can go back to building super computers without having to deal with the US GOV deciding which Intel chips they can buy.

    EDIT: I guess the whole ban of xeon chips to China was April 2015 so almost 2 years ago now.
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/3086...-chip-powers-the-worlds-fastest-computer.html
    The second fastest super computer in the world Tianhe-2 was suspected of running Nuc testing... so the US banned the export of Xeon processors to China. China spent a lot of $$ pushing to speed the development of TaihuLight right after which runs on Chinas own ShenWei SW26010 chips which are 260 core and its some sort of 64 bit RISC chip.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  9. DukenukemX

    DukenukemX [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm all for more competition. I'm all for AMD, but their RyZen chips are considerably more expansion than their FX line chips.
     
  10. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    I know it's not going to happen for a million reasons but honestly I would very much like it if some Chinese company says fuck it and starts producing modern Intel/AMD clones on the cheap.
     
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  11. 28nm and significantly less IPC...Damn that better be like an atom chip and damn cheap to boot.
     
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  12. mynamehere

    mynamehere [H]ard|Gawd

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    Anything's possible when you use Chinesium and a little creative marketing (i.e. 4.8 Ghz is attainable with gobs of power under liquid helium).
     
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  13. andrewaggb

    andrewaggb Limp Gawd

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    I used via's chips around 2004 in some systems. I don't remember the models but they had biblical names like samuel and stuff. I used one variant that was 600 Mhz and another that was 1Ghz. Mini-itx boards. They were ok but quite slow even for the time.

    Definitely wouldn't want v1 of this thing. Let somebody else find all the bugs and errata and get patches into linux and windows and stuff.
     
  14. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    I had a couple of those Via ITX boards. Even the 1ghz could barely play divx SD videos back then.... 2003? Neat little boards but just couldn't cut it. Nowadays you can play 1080p MKV's on a potato. Or a raspberry, anyway :)
     
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  15. chenw

    chenw 2[H]4U

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    China cares far more about monopoly than patent infringements. Its official line is that the policy is anti patent troll, but I feel (subjectively, not in ANYWAY objective) that they don't want western technologies to monopolise their markets.

    Wouldn't particularly surprise me if the products coming out of that company is only sold in China, not in the least. A lot of the top android phone brands in the world are Chinese selling in Chinese market, while a better figure to use should have been the number of phones that were sold outside of the country of its origin.

    Essentially, the main market target for Chinese companies are China, rest of the world is usually secondary concern. India might be the next big target.
     
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  16. SighTurtle

    SighTurtle [H]ard|Gawd

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    Wouldn't part of strengthening Chinese companies be the successful exporting of products to the rest of the world?
     
  17. chenw

    chenw 2[H]4U

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    The thing is, Chinese market is sufficiently big that they don't need to export in order for them to be successful, at least by western standards, if we talk strictly in monetary terms.
     
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  18. Denpepe

    Denpepe Gawd

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    maybe they just need to make some chips to not loose the license agreement or something?
     
  19. TMCM

    TMCM [H]ard|Gawd

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    If I recall the old X86 VIA chips were slow as hell but were super low power. Will be interested in seeing what they come up with
     
  20. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    With their own government approved version of Intel ME right?
     
  21. grtitan

    grtitan Telemetry is Spying on ME!

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    I will like to see a proper ARM desktop chip soon.

    Given the thermal constraints, i must say, that the chip apple is using in their ipad pro are very impressive.

    A desktop version should be very interesting.
     
  22. Spire3660

    Spire3660 [H]ard|Gawd

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    AMD64 turns 14 this year, not much time left on those patents.
     
  23. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    Only surprising thing about this is that there is actually a patent involved and it's not just a straight ripoff.

    Honestly, I can't blame the Chinese - they want to make sure they can build a computing infrastructure that isn't full of backdoors by foreign interests.

    Chinese have their own domestic supercomputer. They are trying to move everyone off MS WIndows and on to something domestically run (NeoKylin).

    I don't think we will see many of these outside of China or developing nations, and I don't think they are a direct threat to the technical and market dominance of Intel (and to a lesser extent AMD), at least in Western culture. But they do send strong signals to Intel and AMD - don't look to the East for growth opportunities. And a stronger signal to the US - we don't want your imports, and we don't need your imports, but you and your WalMarts and Amazons sure as hell need our exports.
     
  24. KD5ZXG

    KD5ZXG Limp Gawd

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    Oh how quickly we forget that VIA (Zhaoxin) not only owns Centaur, but also Cyrix.
    Initially: Cyrix got away with the claim that they were only designing chips, so long
    as they were manufactured at plants that held intel licence agreemens, all was legal.

    In later litigations, both sides suing each other over patent infringements, Cyrix won.
    The settlement involved much cross-licencing of x86-ishy patents, which National,
    then VIA inherited.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
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  25. chenw

    chenw 2[H]4U

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    You mean they want an infrastructure with their own backdoors?

    Chinese have the biggest reason of all of the governments in the world to install back doors into their communication infrastructure, and thus I would never touch anything that's developed by the Chinese, software or hardware.
     
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  26. Tralalak

    Tralalak n00b

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    * In 2003, VIA settled its long-time patent and monopolisation disputes against Intel in the UK in exchange for an extensive cross-licence agreement with Intel for 10 years.
    source: http://ec.europa.eu/competition/sect...l_decision.pdf

    * In addition, the FTC settlement order will require Intel to:

    modify its intellectual property agreements with AMD, Nvidia, and VIA so that those companies have more freedom to consider mergers or joint ventures with other companies, without the threat of being sued by Intel for patent infringement;
    offer to extend VIA’s x86 licensing agreement for five years beyond the current agreement, which expires in 2013;
    source: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/pres...-against-intel


    Zhaoxin 2.0GHz ZX-D (28nm) & 3.0GHz ZX-E (16nm) benchmarked and roadmap!
    source: https://translate.google.sk/transla...via-chysta-finfetove-cipy-velkou-modernizaci/

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    That too, I'm sure.
     
  28. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    Not much time at all, I am sure Intel will be happy about that, not even sure if it falls under the 14 or 20 year rule for extensions. However, the others are much newer and we have newer ones added all the time, something I don't see stopping. Many of them are just about required to have a functioning chip in today's market, so unless you come up with the next new must have extension, there is little to no chance AMD/Intel will agree to any cross licensing for the others. That or have enough of a draw to get people to develop on your platform, which at this point means getting MS interested.
     
  29. Scizyr

    Scizyr Limp Gawd

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    Who wants to start a chinese x86 cpu smuggling ring with me?
     
  30. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

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  31. Tralalak

    Tralalak n00b

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    They are still here!

     
  32. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    Tried to download this 4 times now, it stops when it gets to about 1/3 every time.
     
  33. griff30

    griff30 I Lower the Boom!

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    So now we will see Chinese "Jesus" chips.
    Not that they will be in any market we will use.
     
  34. zkostik

    zkostik Gawd

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    I still have a Nano board (I think it is called Epia) and whole carpc setup (not in use) as well as a c7 mini itx board somewhere in my basement. They were really good for size and features but low performance was hard to overcome. Still props to them for hanging on and provide some kind of competition to the big two.