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AMD confirms to stop licensing new x86 technology to China

By Delta Product Groups / Power

According to technology foreign media Tom's Hardware, AMDCEOLisaSu (Su Zifeng) confirmed on Computex2019 that the company no longer authorized its new x86IP products to Chinese companies.

When it comes to business dealings with Huawei, LisaSu said that as a US company, AMD was forced to comply with US regulations.

In the PC/server processor market, Intel's X86 architecture is uniquely positioned for its outstanding performance, coupled with a deep alliance with Microsoft Windows, enabling the entire PC application ecosystem to be built around Intel's X86 architecture. For domestic processor manufacturers, if you want to enter the PC/server market, the X86 architecture is definitely the first choice.

However, the X86 architecture is Intel's intellectual property. The domestic chip makers need to solve the X86 technology chip. The first thing that needs to be solved is the X86 technology license. For a big Intel, it is obviously not willing to license the X86 architecture to Chinese mainland chip manufacturers.

At present, only X86 authorized companies in the world are Intel, AMD and Taiwan VIA, of which Intel and AMD have permanent licenses for X86. Among the domestic chip manufacturers, Shanghai Zhaoxin and Tianjin Haiguang obtained the X86 authorization through joint venture, but there is a time limit.

In April 2013, Shanghai Zhaohe Integrated Circuit Co., Ltd. was established by Shanghai Lianhe Investment Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Shanghai State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, and a subsidiary of Taiwan VIA Group. The Chinese state-owned assets occupied a controlling position (holding about 80%). Shanghai Zhaoxin also obtained the X86 architecture license from VIA.

However, by April 2018, the license agreement expired, VIA could no longer use Intel's new X86 patents and related software, and the upgrade of Zhaoxin's future X86 products was also blocked. Although it can still use the old X86 patent, the prospects are bleak. .

The other is Tianjin Haiguang. In 2016, AMD and China Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co., Ltd. (THATIC) established a joint venture company, Zhongke Haiguang, which can use AMD's X86 technology and SoC IP for chip development. To this end, AMD received $293 million in cash, including royalties.

After the establishment of the joint venture company, the products based on AMD's first generation of Ryzen and EPYC's Zen architecture were quickly launched and successfully applied to the Dawning server. Information revealed in May this year showed that Haiguang's 32-core, 64-thread x86 architecture server CPU has been successfully streamed.

However, according to AMD Su Zifeng's confirmation at the Taipei Computer Show, AMD's cooperation with Tianjin Haiguang is limited to AMD's first generation of Ryzen and EPYC's Zen architecture, and AMD's new Zen 2 microarchitecture design has no rights. use. This also means that Haiguang will not be able to obtain new X86 patent licenses and AMD's SoC IP licenses.