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

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moinmoin

Golden Member
Jun 1, 2017
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Surprised by Arm's move considering they are headquartered in the UK and owned by SoftBank from Japan.

Personally I consider these developments against Huawei as bad news for Arm (as well as Google's proprietary packages of Android) since if there's any big company capable of severing such dependencies, Huawei is now forced to prove that it can be that company.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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@NTMBK

Good find! And also, that's kind of messed up. As much as I dislike Huawei being used as an arm of Chinese intelligence, I also hate seeing the state of the art lag because of arbitrary politically-motivated positions. I was hoping cheap HiKey 980 boards would become available at some point. Ones with proper Linux support. That's proooobably not gonna happen now. At least not in the US.

Huawei was also apparently the biggest player in the ARM server market. Looks like Marvell is the only player left now, unless, as you say, Huawei decides to go their own way and support the ARM ecosystem even if ARM won't support them. Linux kernel developers' lives just got a lot more complicated.

What's funny is that the stock market just jumped on "relaxed restrictions on Huawei" and yet, we still have this development.
 

soresu

Golden Member
Dec 19, 2014
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Given that the cores are licensed anyway, it seems suspect that ARM would simply abandon their biggest CPU core customer outside of Qualcomm, and their biggest GPU customer next to Samsung (not sure exactly which of those 2 reigns supreme in GPU license fees).

Perhaps the US government offered inducement to do so - ie contracts for government servers or some such.

Either way, the business loss is pretty substantial to ARM unless they get a new major licensee - though I find that unlikely at this point.

I agree on the point of missing out on HiKey 980, but hopefully the Rockchip RK3588 will fill some of that niche at least.
 
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maddie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2010
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This ARM, Huawei, China, USA, etc battle seems pregnant with unintended consequences. Fools think that because they can imagine one path through the maze, they are safe, forgetting that the pitfalls morph with time.

This appears that it's going to get interesting, as the curse says.
 
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NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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Given that the cores are licensed anyway, it seems suspect that ARM would simply abandon their biggest CPU core customer outside of Qualcomm, and their biggest GPU customer next to Samsung (not sure exactly which of those 2 reigns supreme in GPU license fees).

Perhaps the US government offered inducement to do so - ie contracts for government servers or some such.

Either way, the business loss is pretty substantial to ARM unless they get a new major licensee - though I find that unlikely at this point.

I agree on the point of missing out on HiKey 980, but hopefully the Rockchip RK3588 will fill some of that niche at least.
I don't think that the US government needed to provide a carrot to ARM- they have an enormous stick. "If you don't do what we say, we'll put you on the list too." Imagine if ARM were not allowed to do any business with US companies- no Apple, no Qualcomm, no working with Google, no working with Microsoft. That would be a death sentence.
 

Asterox

Senior member
May 15, 2012
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With ARM cutting off Huawei, the future of their server CPUs seems in doubt: https://www.anandtech.com/show/14373/report-arm-suspends-business-with-huawei



I wonder what will happen next? Will they go rogue, and iterate on the ARM designs that they already have access to with their own silicon design teams? If they're already cut off from access to pretty much all Western tech, I doubt they will give a damn about breaking IP laws.
Yes, after all the ARM license has already been paid.Money is not a problem, or it will be a similar story/lets say go rogue as VIA/Zhaoxin X86 CPU deal.

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/via-zhaoxin-kx6000-benchmark.2554199/#post-39579451

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/china-stealing-secrets-from-us-semiconductor-companies-allegedly.2549463/page-3#post-39479090
 

PotatoWithEarsOnSide

Senior member
Feb 23, 2017
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It'd be a death sentence not only for ARM, so I'm not sure it'd ever be considered.
I find the whole Huawei thing a tad bizarre to say the least. We all know that various spy agencies request backdoor into all manner of communications technology, and it isn't just the Chinese; the US has been at it for decades.
 

beginner99

Diamond Member
Jun 2, 2009
4,543
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Given that the cores are licensed anyway, it seems suspect that ARM would simply abandon their biggest CPU core customer outside of Qualcomm, and their biggest GPU customer next to Samsung
especially since ARM is a UK company. i doubt they did that on their own without a major push from US gov.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
6,885
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This trade war is going to backfire. There's little to gain from fighting.

Complex electronics like Smartphones use components sourced from dozens of manufacturers. Dozens of manufacturers, just in the US will be affected.

In the long term, it'll also result in China being motivated to create replacements.
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
8,711
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Yes, after all the ARM license has already been paid.Money is not a problem, or it will be a similar story/lets say go rogue as VIA/Zhaoxin X86 CPU deal.

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/via-zhaoxin-kx6000-benchmark.2554199/#post-39579451

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/china-stealing-secrets-from-us-semiconductor-companies-allegedly.2549463/page-3#post-39479090
ARM licenses its cores with a per-device fee- you need to pay a certain amount for each individual chip you produce, as well any up front costs. And I'm pretty sure there's a fee for each design that you use their core in, not just a one-time-fee to license the core. If they just kept on using the designs without ARM's permission then they would be violating their contract.
 

Thala

Senior member
Nov 12, 2014
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I don't think that the US government needed to provide a carrot to ARM- they have an enormous stick. "If you don't do what we say, we'll put you on the list too." Imagine if ARM were not allowed to do any business with US companies- no Apple, no Qualcomm, no working with Google, no working with Microsoft. That would be a death sentence.
Not really. There are enough players in the ARM ecosystem, which will gladly fill the gap. On the other hand, Qualcomm and Apple would loose much of their portfolio instantly - Neither Qualcomm nor Apple can release an Smartphone SoC without ARM IP.
 

Thala

Senior member
Nov 12, 2014
998
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ARM licenses its cores with a per-device fee- you need to pay a certain amount for each individual chip you produce, as well any up front costs. And I'm pretty sure there's a fee for each design that you use their core in, not just a one-time-fee to license the core. If they just kept on using the designs without ARM's permission then they would be violating their contract.
You do not pay per design. You typically get a perpetual license for a certain IP (e.g. core) and then can use it in whatever designs you want to put it in. For each shipping device you have to pay royalties though.
The only thing ARM can do is denying the license of future cores.
 
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beginner99

Diamond Member
Jun 2, 2009
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In the long term, it'll also result in China being motivated to create replacements.
it will just speed up their efforts in that regard but they were aware of the issue for a long time. in the end the consumers will decide and i would certainly prefer a western / US based smartphone than a china one. US / google already has my data...this will then limit growth potential of huawei and the likes greatly.
 

maddie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2010
3,160
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it will just speed up their efforts in that regard but they were aware of the issue for a long time. in the end the consumers will decide and i would certainly prefer a western / US based smartphone than a china one. US / google already has my data...this will then limit growth potential of huawei and the likes greatly.
Growth potential? Where will growth come from, developing world or West? Who sides where?
 
Apr 30, 2015
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MAY 03, 2018 02:04 JST:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Arm-s-China-joint-venture-ensures-access-to-vital-technology

"Nikkei first reported on Tuesday that the Chinese venture began operations in April and would take over all business for SoftBank Group subsidiary Arm Holdings involving local partners. Chinese and external investors, including Beijing-sponsored entities, control 51% of Arm mini China while the British parent owns 49%."

"Crucially, the Chinese venture can receive transfers of intellectual property now controlled by Arm, as well as training and technical support from Arm engineers, according to the document and people familiar with the matter. The joint venture could help Chinese developers secure sources of technology previously controlled by a foreign chip intellectual property provider."

"To license technology from Arm Holdings, companies had to go through Arm's American team, a person familiar with the plan said. "

"That somehow worries a lot of Chinese chip designers," the person said. "They are wary whether they could always get good support. But with this joint venture, which is now a Chinese company, they are expected to secure sources of Arm's fundamental IPs that are foundations of their chip products."

Comment:
It is not now, and it never has been clear just what this JV owns; is it the development pipeline IP contents? - or just some IP products that come out of the pipeline? However, Artisan, who produce the physical IP, is still based in the U.S. presumably, and they work with all major foundries, including Intel. China's 2025 objective may include taking over TSMC by one means or another, but without physical IP updates, they will fall behind. The ISA development pipeline can be particularly long, with SVE taking 7 years; presumably this is centred in the West. If there is a split between the JV and Arm Limited, then presumably there will be different future IP standards in China, and the rest of the world. This would hinder China's 2025 objective of designing products for the world.

Background on ARM's business model is given by:

https://www.anandtech.com/show/7112/the-arm-diaries-part-1-how-arms-business-model-works

ARM Limited have a risk-mitigation process, but they may have had their hand forced by SoftBank over setting up the JV.

The Chinese business may amount to 20% of revenue in total, but Huawei is one of many customers.
 

dark zero

Platinum Member
Jun 2, 2015
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especially since ARM is a UK company. i doubt they did that on their own without a major push from US gov.
The only logica way I think they risk to do that suicidal move since it will cause to the rest to develop Custom Cores for real is that someone else will buy them and secure the money for them.
 

moinmoin

Golden Member
Jun 1, 2017
1,662
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If the PRC tries a takeover of TSMC, there will probably be a shooting war.
TSMC is a public company and aside National Development Fund and Government of Singapore (accounting for ~9% as of 2018) essentially all big shareholders are western funds and institutions. Any institution can make a move at any stock market, but so far there hasn't been any indication "PRC" is doing that.
 

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