New Server Chipset Launched By Huawei In Efforts To Enter New Growth Areas

Even as the Chinese government is pushing for increasing capabilities of its domestic companies to make manufacture chip and bring down its heavy dependence on import of chips – particularly form the United States, a new chipset for use in servers was launched by Chinese etch giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on Monday.

In recent times, there has been increased scrutiny of its telecommunications equipment and smartphones in the western countries which are weary of such equipment being used by Chinese security agencies to spy on them. This has resulted in a number of countries such as the US and Australia barring the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks and put the telecommunication equipment business of Huawei under pressure – a business segment that bring s in the bulk of its revenue. This is the reason that the company is seeking to venture into areas such as cloud computing and enterprise services.

The impact of the trade war between China and the United States is also a cause of concern for Chinese firms and they are trying to minimise the impact as both the countries have slapped tariffs on each other’s products worth billions. The main cause of the trade war was allegation of the US against China of stealing intellectual property and American technology.

Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon designed the new chipset called the Kunpeng 920 and this launch would enhance the credentials of the Chinese company as a semiconductor designer.

The Ascend series of chipsets for artificial intelligence computing which was launched last October last year and the Kirin series of smartphone chips used in its high-end phones are already manufactured by the Shenzhen-based company.

In addition to delivering much higher computing performance for data centres, a significant drop in power consumption would also be delivered by the latest 7 nanometre, 64-core central processing unit (CPU) chipset manufactured by the company. The design of the chipset finds its basis in the architecture of British chip design firm ARM  which is now owned by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and which is trying to rival the dominance of US company Intel in the market for server CPUs.

Chief Marketing Officer William Xu of Huawei said that the company aims to “drive the development of the ARM ecosystem”. The chip has ”unique advantages in performance and power consumption”, he said.

Huawei will continue its “long-term strategic partnership” with Intel, Xu added. .

The TaiShan series of servers which are powered by the new chipset and which is designed for big data computing, distributed storage and ARM native applications was also released by Huawei on Monday.

The chip designing company HiSilicon was launched by the firm in 2004 with the aim of reducing its dependency on foreign imports.

About 54 per cent of the chips that are used in its own devices are manufactured in-house by Huawei in terms of modern chips with about 22 per cent being sourced from Qualcomm Inc and the remainder from elsewhere.

(Adapted from TheHinduBusinessline.com)

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