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Huawei expands data centre efforts with new CPU and servers

Written by Mon 7 Jan 2019

Firm determined to expand data centre presence with new ARM-based CPU and servers, despite growing political resistance from abroad

Huawei has unveiled its new ARM-based Kunpeng 920 chip, a next-generation chip for servers, despite mounting resistance to its hardware from abroad.

Huawei said the chipset, developed in partnership with UK-based ARM holdings, is faster and more efficient than rival CPUs.

Kunpeng 920 was built using the cutting-edge 7-nanometer process and integrates 64 cores at a frequency of 2.6 GHz and 8-channel DDR4. It supports PCIe 4.0 and CCIX interfaces and provides 640 Gbps total bandwidth.

In SPECint Benchmark tests, the Kunpeng 920 scored over 930, which is 25 percent above industry standard, while saving 30 percent in power efficiency compared to its rivals, Huawei said.

Based on its in-house tests, Huawei said the CPU offered marked improvements in big data, distributed storage, and ARM-native application scenarios.


While Huawei has experience developing CPUs for smartphones, the Kunpeng 920 (built for its new TaiShan ARM servers), signals the firms intent to push further into the data centre and moreover its endorsement of ARM architecture. x86 server architecture, championed by Intel and AMC currently dominates data centres.

As the servers and CPU are designed with cloud workloads in mind (storage, big data and ARM-native application scenarios), Huawei is clearly keen to further its cloud goals.

“We will keep using Intel CPU in areas where they perform better, and use ARM-based CPU in areas like cloud and servers where they are better,” William Xu, Huawei’s chief strategy marketing officer told CNBC.

“We hope to make our cloud service, together with our partners, one of the top five cloud services in the world,” he added.

The news will be music to the ears of Chinese firms who are having difficulties procuring chips – the majority of which are produced by the likes of Intel in U.S. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce banned American suppliers from selling components to China’s ZTE, amid the U.S. China trade spat.

Chinese firms have been seeking ways to wean themselves off American hardware, and Huawei’s increasing release of components represents an effort to stabilise chip supply to its home country.

Written by Mon 7 Jan 2019


arm Cloud cpus Data Centre servers
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