Data center

New Chinese chip uses IBM’s open source Power ISA instead of x86 or Arm — country searches for alternatives to sanctioned US processor designs as firm debuts second-gen server CPU

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Hexin Technology, a CPU developer from China, said that it had powered on its HX-C2000 TC2, the second-gen test chip of its upcoming HX-C2000 processor based on the RISC instruction set architecture, marking yet another step forward for China as the country looks to overcome US sanctions. The chip wields 110 billion transistors and uses IBM‘s open source Power ISA. The company plans to use the CPU for a wide range of applications, including artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and cloud computing, reports

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Hexin’s HX-C2000 is the company’s choice of architecture. Most server CPUs today use the Arm, RISC-V, or x86 instruction set architecture (ISA), but the Hexin team has turned to IBM’s Power, an open source RISC ISA. This ISA is formally open to everyone and debuted in China in 2014. The Hexin team comprises 400 members, many recruited from IBM’s high-performance R&D center. The team has “reconstructed” IBM’s closed design methodology with its EDA chip design tools, design flow, and architecture. 

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