Processors understand the code in binary, however, not all of them understand the same code when executing instructions. This is due to the fact that every family has its own Registration and instruction set, also known as ISA. Well, the most used in PC is what we call x86 and we usually associate it with AMD Intel. However, there is a third brand, which is not known to the Western public and certified as Chaoxin.
In the 1990s, despite Intel’s strict dominance of processors, you could find three different manufacturers of x86 processors. Two of them still exist and they are Intel and AMD. Instead, the third was named after Cyrix, which eventually disappeared to be absorbed by VIA Technologies and today, despite its American origins, is the largest designer of x86 chips in China.
What is Zhaoxin Corporation?
Well, Zhaoxin is a typical Chinese company, so it has a share of a private company in combination with a public company. being the product of a A joint venture between VIA and Shanghai Municipal Government. Currency? Build a chip with ISA x86 for laptops and desktops. So it is one of the tools that the greatest Asian superpower must have to gain complete independence from the United States, and who knows if it will face the duopoly of the United States in the future.
What is the performance of your processors?
The recent industrial contract cutting strategy for Chinese companies has been a disadvantage for the Chinese company, because it does not have the same tools. Let’s not forget that You must use SMIC foundryspecifically 16 nm knot, to create its chips, was behind TSMC several generations. So this limits what they can do. However, it is not bad to take a look to see the performance of these, for us, unknown and inaccessible chips.
and that isZhaoxin CPUs are only sold in China and are countrywide a product that is manufactured and consumed within its borders.. Whether for home computers or servers. And what performance can we expect from them? Well, its most powerful processor is the KH-4000 for servers composed of 16 cores without multithreading and running at 2.7GHz with 100 W TDP. As for the cache size, that is 4 MB for the second level and 32 MB for the third level.
Its performance and power are equivalent to the AMD EPYC 7601, i.e. a first-generation Zen architecture processor. So we’re talking about a 5-year gap in terms of performance and power. However, if we take into account the smaller manufacturing node used, it is clear that its performance is also not bad.
Are they competitors against Intel and AMD processors?
In the West, it will affect Intel and AMD options, but at least China has a countermeasure if they stop supplying chips due to some kind of trade embargo. In addition, it also allows them to provide them with their geopolitical allies. It is possible that some Zhaoxin processor is located on a server of some political enemies of the United States. Not so long ago we told you that they became a supplier of processors for the Russian Federation.
All this leads us to the next question: what would have happened if they had access to the TSMC 7nm node and there was no ban on using the technology?