Sunday, January 29, 2023

Alibaba has unveiled a special ARM-based server CPU for data centers that use cloud computing.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988. HK), a Chinese digital giant, announced on Tuesday that it has built a processor that would be used to power servers in its data centers. This is the company’s newest venture into semiconductors, and it follows in the footsteps of other global cloud computing firms while also aligning with the Chinese government’s ambitions to strengthen the country’s chip sector.

The Yitian 710 chip, developed by Alibaba’s in-house semiconductor subsidiary T-Head, is based on Arm Ltd’s architecture and will not be offered for commercial usage outside of Alibaba.

According to Gartner, Alibaba is the largest cloud computing provider in China by market share and the third-largest globally. Its competitors in the industry have also launched server chips. The cloud computing infrastructures of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (HWT.UL) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) are powered by their respective Kunpeng and Graviton CPUs.

Alibaba also revealed that it has a proprietary server line named Panjiu and that the source code for its Xuantie series of IP cores, which are based on the RISC-V open-source architecture, will be made public. In 2019, Alibaba announced the Xuantie.

Much of the country’s advanced semiconductors are still produced by foreign businesses, a weakness exposed when US sanctions on Huawei hampered the company’s booming smartphone industry.

Aside from Alibaba, Baidu Inc (9888. HK), Xiaomi Corp (1810. HK), and a number of Chinese automobile and appliance businesses have started investing in chips.

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