Huawei releases TaiShan servers powered by Kunpeng 920

Huawei announced TaiShan servers powered by Advanced RISC Machine (ARM)-based CPU — Kunpeng 920 — targeting customers in big data, distributed storage, and ARM-native application business.
Huawei ARM-based CPU“The Kunpeng 920 CPU and TaiShan servers newly released by Huawei are primarily used in big data, distributed storage, and ARM-native applications,” said William Xu, chief strategy marketing officer of Huawei.

Research agency IDC said Huawei is the sixth largest sever supplier in the world based on shipments in Q3 2018. Dell, HPE, Inspur, Lenovo, IBM and Cisco are the other leading server companies.

The strategy of Huawei is to enhance its chip-making capabilities and reduce its reliance on imports, especially from the United States.

Huawei, which gets the bulk of its revenue from the sale of telecommunications equipment and smartphones, is seeking growth avenues in cloud computing and enterprise services as its equipment business comes under increased scrutiny in the West amid worries about Chinese government influence over the firm.

Huawei said the Kunpeng 920 is designed by subsidiary HiSilicon.

“It is part of our system solution and cloud servicing for clients … We will never make our chipset business a standalone business,” said Ai Wei, who is in charge of strategic planning for Huawei’s chipsets and hardware technology.

The Shenzhen-based company already makes the Kirin series of smartphone chips used in its smartphones, and the Ascend series of chipsets for artificial intelligence computing launched in October, Reuters reported.

Huawei’s ARM-based CPU is not a competitor to Intel’s x86 CPUs and servers.

Redfox Qiu, president of the intelligent computing business department at Huawei, said the company shipped 900,000 units of servers in 2018, versus 77,000 in 2012 when it started.

The China-based company said Kunpeng 920 is the industry’s highest-performance ARM-based server CPU. Huawei is using the 7nm process to design the CPU based on ARMv8 architecture license.

It improves processor performance by optimizing branch prediction algorithms, increasing the number of OP units, and improving the memory subsystem architecture.
Server market share chart for Q3 2018
Kunpeng 920 CPU scores over 930 in the SPECint Benchmarks test, which is 25 percent higher than the industry benchmark and 30 percent better in power efficiency as compared with counterparts. Kunpeng 920 provides much higher computing performance for data centers while slashing power consumption.

Kunpeng 920 integrates 64 cores at a frequency of 2.6 GHz. This chipset integrates 8-channel DDR4, and memory bandwidth exceeds incumbent offerings by 46 percent. System integration is also increased significantly through the two 100G RoCE ports.

Huawei said Kunpeng 920 supports PCIe 4.0 and CCIX interfaces, and provides 640 Gbps total bandwidth. The single-slot speed is twice that of the incumbent offering, improving the performance of storage and various accelerators.

Huawei released its TaiShan series servers powered by Kunpeng 920, including three models: one with a focus on storage, another on high density, and a third focused on balancing both requirements.

The TaiShan servers are built for big data, distributed storage, and ARM-native application scenarios. The ARM architecture is best suited for these scenarios with advantages in many-core and performance per watt.

TaiShan servers deliver a 20 percent computing performance boost. Based on the TaiShan servers, Huawei Cloud also provides elastic cloud services, bare metal services, and cloud phone services.

Rajani Baburajan

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