Zhaoxin Beginning Work Bringing Up "Yongfeng" CPU Support For The Linux Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 23 March 2023 at 06:30 AM EDT. 27 Comments
Chinese fabless semiconductor company Zhaoxin, which was started ten years ago as a joint venture between VIA and the Shanghai Municipal Government to create domestic x86 CPUs, is now in the process of working on supporting their newest Yongfeng processors with the Linux kernel.

Zhaoxin at the end of last year announced the Zhaoxin KH-4000 series as server x86_64 processors up to 32 cores/threads. The KH-4000 series uses their latest Yongfeng architecture that succeeds their earlier Lujiazui architecture. Yongfeng remains 16nm based, supports up to 32 cores as a big jump from the eight core limit with Lujiazu, clock speeds up to 2.2GHz, and supports PCIe 3.0 and DDR4. It's not nearly as capable as the latest AMD and Intel CPU microarchitectures, but a step up for the Chinese domestic CPU capabilities.

While Yongfeng / KH-4000 series processors were announced last year, to date there have been no commits to the mainline Linux kernel explicitly mentioning Yongfeng. But that looks to soon be changing.

Zhaoxin Yongfeng

Zhaoxin engineers sent out the first patches I've seen on the kernel mailing list specifically making reference to the Yongfeng microarchitecture. This initial Zhaoxin Yongfeng work for the Linux kernel is enabling the PMC support and exposing it for LInux perf usage. Zhaoxin engineers previously brought up prior generations of their CPUs under Linux too.

So at least now there is some movement on beginning to enable Zhaoxin Yongfeng support for the Linux kernel. We'll see in time how the performance and support plays out for these new Chinese x86 CPUs.
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