Huawei unveils new 7nm chipset for servers

Huawei Kunpeng 920 launch event

"Intel will remain our most important strategic partner", insisted Xu, further claiming that the Kungpeng 920 would "definitely not [be] a replacement for Intel processors".

In response to a question from CNBC about whether political pressure could affect sales of the new server, William Xu, Huawei's chief strategy marketing officer and director of the board, told CNBC that the company hopes to attract customers by making good products.

Huawei Technologies unveils new server chipset reducing heavy import dependency, particularly from the United States.

At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, embattled Chinese hardware manufacturer Huawei announced the Kunpeng 920 CPU-which uses the Arm instruction set-and three TaiShan server models employing the newly-announced Arm CPU. The development and convergence of ARM-based applications on smart terminals are accelerating, along with cloud-device collaboration.

William Xu noted. "Today, with Kunpeng 920, we are entering an era of diversified computing embodied by multiple cores and heterogeneity". At typical frequency, the Kunpeng 920 CPU scores over 930 in the SPECint Benchmarks test, which is 25% higher than the industry benchmark.

The Kunpeng 920 is manufactured at 7nm and offers 64 cores reportedly at 2.6GHz. Kunpeng 920 supports PCIe 4.0 and CCIX interfaces, and provides 640 Gbps total bandwidth. In addition, the single-slot speed is twice that of the incumbent offering, effectively improving the performance of storage and various accelerators.

While Huawei has experience developing CPUs for smartphones, the Kunpeng 920 (built for its new TaiShan ARM servers), signals the firms intent to push further into the data centre and moreover its endorsement of ARM architecture. x86 server architecture, championed by Intel and AMC now dominates data centres. The chip will be beneficial for big data where the Kunpeng will power some big servers in the future. "We're working very closely with ARM to get the optimizations done on the gcc front, and the ARM compiler", which will increase performance as these optimizations produce more efficient binaries.

TaiShan will enable computing platforms with high performance and low power consumption for enterprises.

Huawei's TaiShan servers are built for big data, distributed storage and ARM-native application scenarios.

Redfox Qiu, President, Intelligent Computing Business, Huawei, was quoted saying that the company has efficiently shipped around 900,000 units of servers in 2018, compared to its 77,000 exports in 2012 when it started.

Representatives from Huawei's partners - the Green Computing Consortium, Linaro, the Open Edge and HPC Initiative, Hortonworks and China Standard Software - were present for the launch. In such a context, ARM systems stand out with unique advantages in performance and power consumption... But it is searching for new avenues of growth such as consumer electronics and cloud computing.

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