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Talk Of VIA Getting Back Into The x86 CPU Space With Zhaoxin

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

    And you are really daft in you think VIA is Chinese. VIA is Taiwanese.
    Zhaoxin Semiconductor full name is Shanghai Zhaoxin Semiconductor Co., Ltd.

    Jointly owned by VIA and Shanghai Municipal Government. And the latter means literally that Chinese State (main-fucking-land Chinese State) is the co-owner of it and thus DOES have it's hands in it.


    • #32
      Zhaoxin's x86 CPU isn't a new thing. More info:
      History of the Chinese x86 CPU:
      Roadmap: & & &
      CPU block diagram:

      * VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. was established in April 2013 as a joint venture between Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. (80.1%) - who is affiliated to Shanghai SASAC (State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council - Shanghai Zhaoxin Semiconductor Co., Ltd. AKA "Zhaoxin") - and VIA Technologies, Inc (19.9%).
      * Zhaoxin IP = x86/x86-64 CPU (VIA/Centaur Technology) + ARM SoC (licensed from ARM) + GPU (S3 Graphics/HTC): "Zhaoxin has access to Centaur Technology's design team along with VIA's patent portfolio and intellectual property, including access to all of VIA's Centaur Technology x86 microarchitectures. Zhaoxin has also access to S3 Graphics design team along with HTC Corporation (before VIA's) patent portfolio and intellectual property, including access to all of HTC Corporation (before VIA's) S3 Graphics GPU microarchitectures as independent intellectual property GPU." (Yesky)
      * ZX-A, the first Zhaoxin's x86 CPU, debuted in 2014.
      * ZX-C went into mass production in 2015. It was first quad-core CPU and introduced support for the AVX/AVX2.
      * ZX-C+ introduced support for the SM3/SM4 cryptographic algorithm.
      * Target: Chinese government, enterprises and institutions.
      * Zhaoxin's CPUs seems to be based on VIA/Centaur Technology design (started from CNR), but with improvements. For example, new chips abandoned FSB, memory controller is now integrated in SoC, etc.
      - ZX-A (1st gen.) = VIA Nano X2 C4350AL 40nm
      - ZX-B (1st gen.) = also VIA Nano X2 40nm
      - ZX-C / ZX-C+ / ZX-C+FC (2nd gen.) = VIA Eden X4 Series / QuadCore / OctaCore 28nm TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited) - CentaurHauls Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 14
      - ZX-D (codename "Zangjiang", 2.5th gen.) = KX-5000 Series 28nm HLMC (Shanghai Huali Microelectronics Corporation) - CentaurHauls Family 6 Model 31 Stepping 12
      - ZX-E (codename "Wudaokou", 3rd gen.) = KX-6000 Series 16nm FF (FinFET) TSMC
      - ZX-F = KX-7000 Series
      * VIA CPUs (CN = Isaiah), by Tralalak (2015.11.17):
      - CNA = Isaiah 65nm (VIA Nano 1000/2000 - Series)
      - CNB = Isaiah 65nm (VIA Nano 3000 - Series)
      - CNQ = Isaiah 40nm (VIA Nano X2 4000 - Series, VIA Eden X2 4000 Series, VIA QuadCore E U4000 / L4000 - Series (two die VIA Nano X2 or VIA Eden X2))
      - CNR = Isaiah 28nm (VIA QuadCore E - C4000 Series, VIA Eden X4 C4000 - Series)
      * Please remember that VIA x86 CPUs are based on Centaur Technology design (CentaurHauls), not Cyrix (CyrixInstead): "VIA stated that they would launch their first CPU featuring the Samuel core, originally developed by Centaur technology (IDT). In summer 1999 VIA had acquired Centaur Technology from IDT. However, VIA kept the name of «Cyrix III» in order to avoid wasting the money the company had already spent on the marketing campaign. But from a technical point of view, the «Cyrix III» had nothing to do with Cyrix anymore because VIA Cyrix III Samuel was CentaurHauls." (Tralalak)
      * Performance should be "comparable to that of the Intel i3-i5 processor, and the highest performance achieves the i5 processor level" (EEFOCUS, 2017.05.12).
      * The ZX-F AKA KX-7000, expected around 2020, should be a Ryzen-level CPU ("can match where Ryzen is today - not what Ryzen can do then").
      * ZX-C CPUs work with both VX11PH and ZX-100(S) chipsets.
      * VX11PH is a variant of the well-known VIA VX11 chipset with Chrome 640/645 iGPU.
      * Please remember that VIA/S3G Chrome 400/500/600 series GPU is level up from VIA Chrome9 HC/HC3/HCM/HD, which is level up from VIA UniChrome/UniChrome Pro. Chrome 400/500 series GPUs were released as a dGPU with PCIe interface, although they were miniaturized later. S3 Graphics 435 ULP was available as an onboard discrete graphics processor on VIA VB8003 motherboard (see: VIA Trinity platform) and embedded GPU for mobile devices (e.g. TONGFONG S3A), Chrome 520 was integrated into VN1000 chipset. On the other hand, there was also S3 Graphics Chrome 5400E x2 with dual GPU. Chrome 500 series GPU was a really good graphic compared to old Unichrome Pro. Even driver wasn't that bad. It contains support for DirectX 10.1, OpenGL 2.x/3.x, Shader Model 4.1, OpenCL 1.x, DXVA, VDPAU, VA API, Blu-ray, H.264/MPEG2/WMV-9/VC-1 decoding, X11R7.x, 2D (XAA/EXA/RXA), SAMM, Rotation, Xinerama, AIGLX/Compiz, RandR, KMS, etc. Chrome 600 series is a DX11-capable GPU. Unfortunately, OpenChrome has only a very basic support for Chrome9 and no support for Chrome 400/500/600 series at all, so Linux users have to use proprietary drivers.
      * ZX-100S chipset has a "256 stream processors iGPU powered by S3 Graphics IP technology and ready for VR". It is not clear whether it is based on VIA/S3G Chrome GPU (successor of Chrome 600 series) or on Zhaoxin's GPU from their ARM SoC: Elite 1000 (EXXX1000: H.265/H.264 4Kx2K decoding), maybe Elite 2000 (EXXX2000: supports OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenVG 1.1 and OpenCL EP 1.1) - which are also based on S3G IP. The Elite 1000 GPU (Chrome Ex 1000 series?) from ZX-1000 SoC "can reach the performance of twelve to fifteen [email protected]" (Zhaoxin). However, some sources already mention something about ChromE-1000 graphics processor with support for DirectX 11.3:
      * The new ZX-200 chipset doesn't contain any GPU - ZX-D is a full SoC and has their own integrated graphics, point-to point bus, dual channel DDR4 memory controller, sound controller, PCI Express 3.0, I/0, etc. In fact, ZX-200 is only a IO extention. See also: Zhaoxin ZX-C860 GPU
      * Rummors: "The 16nm ZX-E SoC will be integrated with the Elite 3000 high-performance iGPU, supporting DirectX 12, OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenVG 1.2 and OpenCL EP 1.2 standards has leading-edge memory compression technology and high performance video decoder and encoder which support for [email protected] UHD video hardware decoding and encoding, as well as simultaneous decoding and encoding for 1080P FHD video. The multimedia capability includes mainstream audio format, GPS/BDS dual positioning, as well as various encryption / decryption algorithm, secure boot, Trust Zone, and has diverse high-speed peripheral interfaces such as USB3.1, SD 3.0 and eMMC 5.0."
      * There is absolutely no news from VIA (their website or social media) about these products. It looks like they don't have much to say here.
      * Fun fact: "Cher Wang as co-founder and chairperson (Chairwoman & CEO) of HTC Corporation (which manufactured HTC VIVE and one out of every six smartphones sold in the USA) and integrated chipset maker VIA Technologies Inc. Her husband is Wen Chi Chen, the CEO of VIA Technologies Inc." (Yesky)
      * VIA isn't the only company outside US with x86 license - "As part of the release of AMD’s Q1 2016 financial results (more on that later today) the company is announcing that they are forming a new joint venture to develop x86 SoCs for the Chinese market. The hereto unnamed joint venture will see AMD pair up with Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co., Ltd (THATIC), who is an investment arm of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The deal will, in a nutshell, see AMD provide the joint venture with x86 and SoC IP, along with significant engineering and other technical resources, while THATIC provides the remaining technical resources and the financing behind the venture." (AnandTech, 2016.04.21)
      * Godson-2G has "HW support X86 binary translation" and Loongson 3 even improve hardware-assisted x86 emulation. However, Loongson doesn't directly support the x86 ISA.

      TL;DR - China really wants to have their own x86 CPU.
      VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co Ltd. New OctaCore processor and new ZX-100S chipset New VIA/Zhaoxin C-OctaCore [email protected] (8C 2GHz, 2x 2MB L2) and...


      • #33
        I already hate anti-SPAM mechanism on this forum. Here is my message:


        • #34
          Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
          It's the new design from this "Zhaoxin" company that is compared to Ryzen. VIA seems to just provide the x86 license for them.
          Not exactly. ZX-A, the first generation of Zhaoxin x86 CPU, was based on VIA Nano X2 C4350AL 40nm.
          See also:


          • #35
            Originally posted by the_scx View Post
            I already hate anti-SPAM mechanism on this forum. Here is my message:
            Anti-spam measures here are half-pointless. Yeah, sure for new user. But applying it to a user older than 1y and with hundreds of posts to date - it seems overhead without reason behind it. No bot is going to be "sleeping agent" for that long for some eventual advertising.


            • #36
              I made a mistake with the codenames:
              - ZX-C/ZX-C+ = codename "Zangjiang G" ("Kaixian" for ZX-C+ 4-core CPU, "Kaisheng" for ZX-C+ 8-core CPU)
              - ZX-D = codename "Wudaokou"
              - ZX-E = codename "Lujiazui"

              Short history of Zhaoxin:

              Zhaoxin KX-5000 (ZX-D) @ 2.0GHz (8C/8T) seems to be similar to Intel Core i7-6700K @ 2.0GHz (4C/8T) at Fritz Chess Benchmark.

              Elite graphics processor: "the performance of the Elite GPU basically reached the level of Intel's desktop HD GRAPHICS, part of the performance is better than it."

              "Zhaoxin Semiconductor, a leading China maker of x86 processors, expects its annual CPU sales to double for two consecutive years in 2017-18 due to its successful penetration into government procurement platforms and new application segments such as thin clients, AI (artificial intelligence) monitoring, industrial control machines, and cloud servers, the firm's vice president Fu Cheng has disclosed.
              Fu said that KX-5000 series processors are equipped with Window 10 government-version operating system provided by C&M Information Tech, a joint venture between Microsoft and China Electronics Technology Group. Many China-made computer devices such as Lenovo M6100 desktops, Lenovo CF03-T notebooks, Tongfang Chaoxiang Z8304 desktops and Biens XCD 10 micro desktops have adopted KX-5000 processors and tapped into the procurement platform of Shanghai city government, Fu added." (Jean Chu, Shanghai; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES, 2017.11.09)


              • #37
                Originally posted by edwaleni View Post

                Never made mass production. Sampled through Fujitsu and TSMC and went no further.

                VIA does hold several patents in ARM/x86 processing integration however.
                you know about sampling 'cause you have inside knowledge? sounds like an expensive, but certainly "fun" way to burn thru money ,-)


                • #38
                  Originally posted by the_scx View Post
                  much info on the ZX CPUs

                  Thanks a lot for the information and translation! Even though probably a good bunch is still more or less VIA related it's interesting to see a third/fourth party to the x86 world again. But then, I wonder how far this will reach.
                  I understand that the Chinese government is very interested in a system they do control (nearly-own CPU) but why do they use some Windows variant then and destroy all the efforts with their own CPU+chipset?
                  Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Adarion View Post
                    I understand that the Chinese government is very interested in a system they do control (nearly-own CPU) but why do they use some Windows variant then and destroy all the efforts with their own CPU+chipset?
                    They also use Linux, especially Ubuntu Kylin, NFS China, NeoKylin, iSoft Server OS, etc.

                    "We build a full end-to-end solution with from underground hardware to the up-level software applications. These solutions are compatible with x86 applications and supports the domestic BIOS; as well as a whole series of Microsoft Windows and most Linux variants - including Ubuntu, NeoKylin, iSOFT, NFS-China, Redhat, and CentOS. In addition, many domestic Independent Software Vendors (ISV) like Kingsoft and DM have collaborated with us."


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by torsionbar28 View Post
                      QEMU emulates an x86 CPU, and it is open source software, no intel license required. How is this different from what is proposed here?
                      I don't think the patents cover software, but once you start adding hardware instructions to accelerate x86 specifically is where you can run into trouble.