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In 2016, AMD authorized THATIC to develop its x86 and SoC IP chips at a price of $293 million, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences and private enterprises. The two sides hope that through this cooperation, AMD will contribute to the vigorous development of the Chinese market.
Foreign media reported that this cooperation has exposed China to key x86 technologies, which is also one of the major technological gaps between China and the United States. The details of technology transfer are unknown to the outside world.
According to the agreement, China-madeThe serverManufacturer Hygon can use custom processors based on AMD Zen architecture, which is also the basic design of AMD Ryzen and EYPC processors.
The customization part of the chips includes special encryption components designated by customers. The first products include Haiguang's Dhyana x86 processor, which is very similar to the twin brother of AMD EPYC data center processor.
Foreign media have been told that customized chips also have other architecture design optimization specifically for the Chinese market (details are not clear). Sources have said that domestic server manufacturer Sugn plans to launch 100 million secondary supercomputers based on Zen 2, but the progress of the project is unknown.
In fact, the joint development of AMD and China is not new. Because Intel, another chip giant, also joined forces with Tsinghua University and Lanqi Technology to set up a joint venture to develop custom chips.
It should be pointed out that Intel has no authorization to open access to its core IP, while Haiguang (THATIC) has access to a deeper level of Zen's microarchitecture.
Earlier, it was reported that the AMD joint venture could access Zen's Register Transport Layer (RTL), but AMD later clarified that the joint venture could only modify some parts of custom chips for the Chinese market.
Finally, the foreign media Tom
The joint venture will continue to operate, but AMD will not negotiate any additional technology transfer. In addition, most of the work is done by THATIC, but not much is involved in AMD.
The reason is that the cooperation with Haiguang involved only the technology licensing of that generation, not the additional technology licensing. However, Su did not clarify whether the decision not to continue to provide technology transfer was a direct result of Sino-US trade frictions.
In this way, at least for a foreseeable period of time, THATIC's customized products will only stay at the level based on the early Zen architecture. After all, as an American company, AMD has to comply with the relevant regulations of the United States.