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January 7, 2019

Huawei: Never Mind the Politics, Here’s an ARM-based CPU and Server

New CPU developed in China using the ARMv8 architecture licence

By CBR Staff Writer

Huawei is at the heart of a concerted effort in some quarters to declaim its portfolio as a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party. Largely limited in its ability to tackle this debate in western capitals, the company is instead focussing on business, today (with a nod of apology to long-standing partner Intel) announcing the launch of two new indigenous ARM-based products, a CPU and also a server range.

The former was developed in-house using the ARMv8 architecture licence, but Huawei has also been working with a wide range of industry organisations to build an “open, collaborative industry ecosystem”, teaming up with partners like Hortonworks, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, SUSE, Ubuntu, and China Standard Software, the company said announcing the two launches in Shanghai early Monday January 7.

Huawei Arm Partnership Comes  with a “Sorry, Intel”

“Huawei has long partnered with Intel to make great achievements. Together we have contributed to the development of the ICT industry. Huawei and Intel will continue our long-term strategic partnerships and continue to innovate together,” Huawei Board Director William Xu said in an emailed release, addinng that the company will “embrace a diversified computing era.”

Read this: Huawei First to Trial Google’s Fuchsia OS

“At the same time, the ARM industry is seeing a new development opportunity. The Kunpeng 920 CPU and TaiShan servers newly released by Huawei are primarily used in big data, distributed storage, and ARM-native applications. We will work with global partners in the spirit of openness, collaboration, and shared success to drive the development of the ARM ecosystem and expand the computing space.”

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Huawei’s Beijing research centre. Credit: Huawei

What’s New? 

The CPU: Dubbed the Kunpeng 920, the new CPU is designed to boost the development of computing in big data, distributed storage, and ARM-native application scenarios, Huawei said in an emailed release. It was independently designed by Huawei based on ARMv8 architecture licence and uses a cutting edge 7nm process.

At typical frequency, the Kunpeng 920 CPU scores over 930 in the SPECint Benchmarks test, which is 25 percent higher than the industry benchmark, Huawei claimed, sucking up 30 percent less power than unnamed industry counterparts, saying it provides much higher computing performance for data centers with greater efficiency.

The specs: Kunpeng 920 integrates 64 cores at a frequency of 2.6 GHz. It integrates 8-channel DDR4. System integration is available via two 100G RoCE ports. It supports PCIe 4.0 and CCIX interfaces, and provides 640 Gbps total bandwidth.

The server: Huawei’s three new TaiShan series servers are powered by the Kunpeng 920 and were described as built for big data, distributed storage, and ARM-native application scenarios. They are tuned for “optimal many-core high concurrency and resource scheduling” Huawei said.

Explaining the launches, Huawei said as new applications in cloud computing drive data diversity (“for example, big data applications, distributed storage, and some edge computing scenarios have specific energy efficiency requirements for many-core high-performance computing”) ARM systems stand out with “unique advantages in performance and power consumption.”


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