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Huawei - 64-Core Arm Server CPU with CCIX and PCIe Gen4 Launched

ub4ty

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https://www.servethehome.com/huawei-kunpeng-920-64-core-arm-server-cpu/

Today Huawei announced a new 64-Core Arm Server CPU. The Huawei Kunpeng 920 is being billed as the fastest Arm CPU to date. One thing is for sure, there is going to be interest in this CPU not just for the 64 custom Arm cores, but also the I/O that the chip has onboard. We thought we would take a moment to show what Huawei is building, and why it is important.

Beyond the CPU cores and 8 channel DDR4-2933 memory controller, the company is also introducing PCIe Gen4 and CCIX support. We know that AMD EPYC Rome will support PCIe Gen4 this year (likely with CCIX), and Intel Cascade Lake will not. Like we saw Cavium do with the original ThunderX, Huawei is also integrating networking with a 100GbE RoCE NIC in the Kunpeng 920.




And now comes the new competition.... Good luck to anyone who isn't innovating and pushing boundaries. The standards are being set.
 
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EXCellR8

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7nm too... nice to see the smaller guys shake things up a bit. Will be interesting to see what comes of this.
 
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ub4ty

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DrMrLordX

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Damn, Huawei came out swinging here. Kind of sad to see Qualcomm missing out on this opportunity.

What is the basis for the custom ARM cores? A76? The Kirin 980 has A76 cores.

@ub4ty, AMD needs to watch out too. This product is as much a threat to their ambitions as anyone else's. Also, what is Cavium going to do now? There's a new, big fish in their pond.
 
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SarahKerrigan

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So this is a separate project, with custom cores but similar uncore, core count, and performance targets, from the previously-announced Hi1620?

That's... weird.
 

TheELF

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Dec 22, 2012
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Damn, Huawei came out swinging here. Kind of sad to see Qualcomm missing out on this opportunity.

What is the basis for the custom ARM cores? A76? The Kirin 980 has A76 cores.

@ub4ty, AMD needs to watch out too. This product is as much a threat to their ambitions as anyone else's. Also, what is Cavium going to do now? There's a new, big fish in their pond.
AMD already cancelled K12 because they realized how nonsensical it would be to compete with a dozen or so companies that make ARM solutions.
 
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Topweasel

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AMD already cancelled K12 because they realized how nonsensical it would be to compete with a dozen or so companies that make ARM solutions.
Yeah they were coming in late, whole new design that they would have had little IP in. Better to try to compete like in Intel with Atom and use immense tech knowledge in X86 to push forward with the massive compatibility weapon they wield.
 

moinmoin

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AMD needs to watch out too. This product is as much a threat to their ambitions as anyone else's.
Both AMD and Huawei pushing PCIe 4 and CCIX is a positive for both imo. AMD has the advantage of being first with PCIe 4 in the dominating x86 server market. Huawei gives additional credence to the combination of PCIe 4 and CCIX. And Epyc and Kunpeng 920 both boasting fairly similar technical configurations ahead of all Intel offerings may help software being written more platform agnostic instead optimized for Intel.
 

ub4ty

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Jun 21, 2017
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Damn, Huawei came out swinging here. Kind of sad to see Qualcomm missing out on this opportunity.

What is the basis for the custom ARM cores? A76? The Kirin 980 has A76 cores.

@ub4ty, AMD needs to watch out too. This product is as much a threat to their ambitions as anyone else's. Also, what is Cavium going to do now? There's a new, big fish in their pond.
I'm not rooting for any team here.. lol.
The more competition the better :D

AMD is releasing 64 core w/ CCIX over PCIE 4.0 and now so are multiple ARM players.
100Gb RoCE on chip is super tasty as well !

:cool: slowly centering in on some on the hardware I'd like to see.
Everyone in tech knows you can't rest. Innovate or die. Keeps the fire underneath everyone's feet.
 

DrMrLordX

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AMD already cancelled K12 because they realized how nonsensical it would be to compete with a dozen or so companies that make ARM solutions.
AMD had the internal resources to push either Zen or K12, and they picked Zen. I'm not sure that anyone could have guessed that Intel would have had the problems that they're having today, or that competition from the ARMy would be so fierce. If you look at the competition AMD faced from ARM competitors back when these decisions were being made (2015-2016), Huawei wasn't even on the radar.

In the end it won't matter. Chips like the Kunpeng 920 are dangerous to them either way. The ARM software ecosystem will catch up very soon with hardware like this on the market.

smaller guys? Huawei had 50% higher revenue 2017 than Intel :)
Huawei is also backed by someone very powerful. Their available resources are pretty deep. Even if that comes at a price. If Huawei wants to rule the ARM server market, then in China (and perhaps beyond), they will likely get what they want. They may get embargoed in some markets though.
 
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moinmoin

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In the end it won't matter. Chips like the Kunpeng 920 are dangerous to them either way. The ARM software ecosystem will catch up very soon with hardware like this on the market.
The ARM software ecosystem needs to have caught up first before ARM hardware is of significance in the server market. And to get to this point there needs to be a steady supply of ARM server hardware that is worth investing in. Kunpeng 920 is a first of its kind there. It will be a long uphill battle, more so than what AMD faces. Though Huawei should be able to keep it up as they are a cloud service provider of their own and will very likely use their own products there.
 
Mar 11, 2004
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Damn, Huawei came out swinging here. Kind of sad to see Qualcomm missing out on this opportunity.

What is the basis for the custom ARM cores? A76? The Kirin 980 has A76 cores.

@ub4ty, AMD needs to watch out too. This product is as much a threat to their ambitions as anyone else's. Also, what is Cavium going to do now? There's a new, big fish in their pond.
Might wanna edit your post (first word).

Its definitely interesting, and this will undoubtedly be popular in China, but I think there's gonna be a lot of pushback with regards to Huawei stuff like this in data centers for companies outside of China.

This will bring competition for AMD, but what's to stop AMD from releasing similar? Heck, they could probably do similar CPUs to Zen just using standard (or even slightly tweaked) ARM cores. I think the possibility of such a product or a hybrid solution, is partly why AMD has been pushing to modular as it makes it an option. The hard parts is the interlink stuff, and they've been doing pretty well with that so I don't think it'd be too much trouble adding it to ARM design. They probably could do more monolithic ARM chips - wonder how many ARM cores they could fit into size similar to Zen. Heck, they could make all sorts of dice on 12nm GF. Lets them eat up wafers there, wouldn't eat into 7nm production, should be cheaper (and ARM cores would mean the power isn't that much of a concern).

AMD already cancelled K12 because they realized how nonsensical it would be to compete with a dozen or so companies that make ARM solutions.
AMD cancelled K12 because they had to choose to focus development, and at the time ARM had basically no traction at all in server market, and on top of that it was a bigger risk because it was a custom ARM core. AMD would've essentially forfeited the x86 market if they'd chosen K12 over Zen. Oh and also AMD had very little marketshare in the markets that ARM was in. In hindsight ditching K12 seems like a no brainer.

With standard ARM improving, they could probably consider looking at the uses that they were considering K12 for, just use standard ARM designs. And now they have x86 cores and other tech (InfinityFabric) where they can do more than they would have been able to with K12 at the time. And they didn't essentially completely give up on x86 to do it.

I have a hunch that companies wanting consoles (especially streaming ones) are going to be wanting ARM cores, and so I think its just a matter of time until AMD implements them in some way into a product.
 

DrMrLordX

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The ARM software ecosystem needs to have caught up first before ARM hardware is of significance in the server market. And to get to this point there needs to be a steady supply of ARM server hardware that is worth investing in. Kunpeng 920 is a first of its kind there. It will be a long uphill battle, more so than what AMD faces. Though Huawei should be able to keep it up as they are a cloud service provider of their own and will very likely use their own products there.
With the backing that Huawei enjoys, you'd better believe that the existing Linux support for ARM will grow quickly. Developers will be . . . strongly encouraged to support the platform. It remains to be seen how much of that work will wind up as open source that will be useable by other players in the ARM server market, such as Cavium.
 

NTMBK

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SarahKerrigan

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Can anybody elaborate on why PCIe4 is a big deal? Are there any devices that get bottlenecked by pcie3?
The Mellanox ConnectX-6, a 200gigabit Ethernet and Infiniband card that uses a pair of slots on PCIe 3 systems to get to 32 lanes. That is absolutely an example of PCIe 4 being a real-world benefit.

The other thing is density on smaller cards - 4 lanes (for M.2, for instance) buys you a lot more with PCIe 4 than 3. Look at how many M.2 SSD's have essentially converged asymptotically toward 4GB/s.
 

LightningZ71

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Mar 10, 2017
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Just looking at this, and AMDs configuration for ROME, how difficult, or even useful in this market, would it be for AMD to spend some money developing 7nm chiplets based on ARM cores for an ARM version of ROME? It seems that by divorcing the I/O chip from the CPU cores, they gain not only flexibility in the x86 market, but ALSO the ability to use other CPU core technologies to create products for other markets as needed. I'm not even proposing a super complicated hybrid model with x86 and ARM cores on the same package, just a package that has choices for the manufacturer.
 

moinmoin

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Just looking at this, and AMDs configuration for ROME, how difficult, or even useful in this market, would it be for AMD to spend some money developing 7nm chiplets based on ARM cores for an ARM version of ROME? It seems that by divorcing the I/O chip from the CPU cores, they gain not only flexibility in the x86 market, but ALSO the ability to use other CPU core technologies to create products for other markets as needed. I'm not even proposing a super complicated hybrid model with x86 and ARM cores on the same package, just a package that has choices for the manufacturer.
I doubt AMD itself has any motivation to do something like that. But somebody who has the money wanting that surely could approach AMD's semi-custom business for such a project. Interestingly enough AMD's Semi-Custom Solutions page even mentions ARM:
"We develop customized SOCs leveraging AMD technology including industry-leading x86 and ARM® multi-core CPUs, world-class AMD Radeon® graphics, and multimedia accelerators."
 

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