Starting the year as it means to go on, Huawei announces an ARM-based server chipset
- It claims its 64-core, 7 nanometre, ARM-based CPU will offer higher computing performance for data centres
- Huawei claims chip designed specifically to meet Huawei needs, not a prelude to a standalone chipset business
- Move won't affect Huawei's long-term relationship with Intel
Chinese technology giant, Huawei, has announced a new ARM-based CPU, called Kunpeng 920, designed by its subsidiary HiSilicon and destined to populate Huawei’s servers. This is the equipment that drives corporate data centres, the cloud and, increasingly, the telecommunications network as it virtualises.
Huawei says the chip’s 7 nanometre architecture is speedy enough to beat the industry benchmark by 25 per cent while using about 30 per cent less power than its competitors.
The move is seen as another important step toward high tech independence for Huawei and China as the government pursues its 2025 goals of leadership in a range of high tech segments - an ambition which has raised the ire of US President Trump and is thought to be the real reason for the current round of trade hostilities between the two countries.
Given the importance of the cloud, server chippery is clearly a good place to concentrate on to diminish the country’s heavy reliance on US chip imports.
Huawei is playing down the strategic intent of the Kunpeng 920, claiming the chip has been designed specifically to meet the needs of its own systems evolution and is not the prelude to a standalone chipset business.
It’s worth bearing in mind at this point that Huawei also has a strategic relationship with Intel which it’s apparently anxious to maintain, stressing that its ARM CPU is complementary to its use of Intel chips - both product groups have different, but unique, advantages in terms of performance and power consumption, it claims.
Huawei has already put the new chipset to work in its TaiShan series of servers which it describes as designed for big data, distributed storage and ARM native applications.
See full press release details below
Huawei unveils industry's highest-performance ARM-based CPU bringing global computing power to next level
[Shenzhen, China, January 7, 2019] Huawei has announced the industry's highest-performance Advanced RISC Machine (ARM)-based CPU. Called Kunpeng 920, the new CPU is designed to boost the development of computing in big data, distributed storage, and ARM-native application scenarios. Huawei will join with industry players to advance the ARM industry and foster an open, collaborative, and win-win ecosystem, taking computing performance to new heights.
Huawei Unveils Industry's Highest-Performance ARM-based CPU called Kunpeng 920.
"Huawei has continuously innovated in the computing domain in order to create customer value. We believe that, with the advent of the intelligent society, the computing market will see continuous growth in the future. Currently, the diversity of applications and data is driving heterogeneous computing requirements. 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," said William Xu, Director of the Board and Chief Strategy Marketing Officer of Huawei.
"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, and embrace a diversified computing era."
The industry's highest-performance ARM-based CPU
Kunpeng 920 is the industry's highest-performance ARM-based server CPU. Using the cutting-edge 7nm process, the CPU was independently designed by Huawei based on ARMv8 architecture license. It significantly improves processor performance by optimizing branch prediction algorithms, increasing the number of OP units, and improving the memory subsystem architecture. At typical frequency, the Kunpeng 920 CPU scores over 930 in the SPECint Benchmarks test, which is 25% higher than the industry benchmark. At the same time, power efficiency is 30% better than that offered by industry counterparts. Kunpeng 920 provides much higher computing performance for data centers while slashing power consumption.
Kunpeng 920 integrates 64 cores at a frequency of 2.6 GHz. This chipset integrates 8-channel DDR4, and memory bandwidth exceeds incumbent offerings by 46%. System integration is also increased significantly through the two 100G RoCE ports. 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.
Huawei TaiShan, ARM-based server with the industry’s best performance
Huawei today also released its TaiShan series servers powered by Kunpeng 920, including three models: one with a focus on storage, another on high density, and a third focused on balancing both requirements. The TaiShan servers are built for big data, distributed storage, and ARM-native application scenarios. The ARM architecture is best suited for these scenarios with advantages in many-core and performance per watt.
TaiShan will enable computing platforms with high performance and low power consumption for enterprises. For example, in big data scenarios, the TaiShan servers are tuned for optimal many-core high concurrency and resource scheduling to deliver a 20% computing performance boost. Based on the TaiShan servers, Huawei Cloud also provides elastic cloud services, bare metal services, and cloud phone services.
Building an open and collaborative ARM ecosystem founded on shared success
Huawei continuously promotes industry cooperation in terms of hardware, basic software, and applications. Huawei has been working with industry organizations such as Green Computing Consortium (GCC), Linaro, and Open Edge and HPC Initiative (OEHI) to build an open, collaborative industry ecosystem, alongside partners such as Hortonworks, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, SUSE, Ubuntu, and China Standard Software.
On the hardware side, Huawei is a core member of Linaro. On the basic software side, Huawei is a Platinum member of the OpenStack Foundation and a founding member of Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). With regard to applications, Huawei has joined the GCC. GCC has released the Green Computing Consortium Server Technical Standards Report , along with other efforts to build a green open source computing community. Huawei is also a member of the OEHI.
Huawei believes that an intelligent society with all things connected, sensing, and intelligent is underway, and this trend is picking up speeds. The development and convergence of ARM-based applications on smart terminals are accelerating, along with cloud-device collaboration. In addition, new applications in cloud computing are driving 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. In such a context, ARM systems stand out with unique advantages in performance and power consumption.
Therefore, in view of the industry trends and application requirements, a new era of diversified computing is unfolding. Multiple data types and scenarios are driving computing architecture optimization. Combining multiple computing architectures for optimal performance becomes a must.
"With Kirin 980, Huawei has taken smartphones to a new level of intelligence. With products and services (e.g., Huawei Cloud) designed based on Ascend 310, Huawei enables inclusive AI for industries," William Xu noted. "Today, with Kunpeng 920, we are entering an era of diversified computing embodied by multiple cores and heterogeneity. Huawei has invested patiently and intensively in computing innovation to continuously make breakthroughs. We will work with our customers and partners to build a fully connected, intelligent world."
Stay up to date with the latest industry developments: sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox – including our daily news briefing and weekly wrap.