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New Chinese processor for servers from Zhaoxin KH-40000: will it catch up and overtake AMD and Intel?

Zhaoxin is a Chinese manufacturer of x86-compatible processors, which successfully continues to carry the baton passed to it from VIA and Centaur. The processors are produced domestically for the consumer and server segment in China, and a few days ago the results of the SPEC CPU2006 test for the new Zhaoxin KH-40000 processor on the Linux platform appeared on the Internet.

KH "Kaishing"

KH "Kaishing" is a series of general purpose processors positioned by Zhaoxin for the server market. The new processor uses the Yongfeng microarchitecture, 16nm process technology and supports dual-processor operation. A system built on these processors can have up to 64 cores (maximum 32 cores per processor). The processor also supports DDR4 memory and PCIe 3.0 bus.

The SPEC CPU2006 test is positioned by SPEC as a useful tool for studying the behavior of platforms under intensive computational load based on real application code. In the basic integer test, the KH-40000 scores 27.7 points at 2.7 GHz. For comparison, the previous generation of KH-30000 processors with a clock speed of 3 GHz scored 28.8 points.

Is it a lot? Here are the numbers that Intel and AMD server processors score in the same tests: Xeon E5-2690 from the Sandy Bridge family, Xeon E5-2690 v3 from the Haswell family, Xeon E5-2699 v4 from the Broadwell family, and Xeon 8176 from the Skylake-SP family , EPYC 7601 is the AMD Naples family, the first generation of Zen. All figures are given for single-threaded mode.


From the above figures, it is noticeable that the KH-40000 at 2.7 GHz does not lose much, but more often performs on equal terms and even outperforms (in single-threaded mode) the first generation AMD EPYC operating at 3.2 GHz. Yes, we are comparing 2017 and 2022 processors (Zhaoxin KH-40000 was supposed to be released last year, but was delayed due to COVID), but Chinese processor manufacturers are not standing still.

Screenshots have also appeared, from which you can understand more about the processor specification. For example, the Windows Task Manager shows that the tested KH-40000 has a 16-core 16-thread design, while the previous generation could have a maximum of 8 cores and 8 threads. The processor in this configuration received a second-level cache of 4 MB and a third-level cache of 32 MB.

This is a welcome step forward for Zhaoxin, as their latest PC processors, the KX-6000 and KH-30000 server processor, are based on the Lujiazui microarchitecture and have been in production on a 16nm process since Q2 2019. Alas, the company's plans to support PCIe 4 and DDR5 processors, transition to 7nm process technology and embedding GPUs with DirectX support in the KX series processors have moved indefinitely.

Michael Zippo
[email protected]

Sources: Python.Engineering


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