AMD processors have long been the default choice for high-performance PC users who wanted the best multicore desktop processors, but they could be facing some serious competition soon from Chinese chip designer Phytium. Recently, they’ve just unveiled the Phytium Tengyun S2500, a next generation, scalable, multi-server chip designed for servers with up to eight CPUs. The move isn’t exactly surprising, considering that Phytium processors were already essential for Tianhe supercomputers and had one of the best ratings in TOP 500. Phytium may not exactly be known to casual users, but they’re the first manufacturer to announce a 64-core ARMv8 processor for servers. They also introduced a 64-core FT-2000/4 CPU for HPC machines last year.
The new processor has an impressive 64 cores that run at 2GHz – 2.2GHz, and it’s based on the previous FT-2000+, with the addition of four 800Gbps direct connections. The Phytium Tengyun S2500 should be available in 14nm at the end of the year.
Another exciting feature of the new Phytium chips is that they support eight DDR4-3200 memory channels, while still being able to combine anywhere between two to eight processors within the same system. As for power consumption, we should expect a maximum of 150 watts.
The new chips will have security and encryption capabilities specific for the Chinese market, and it can withstand some seriously demanding applications. It also supports memory mirroring, a technique used to separate memory into several channels, and that maintains the system operational in the event of failures. Previously, this feature had only been used on Intel’s Xeon CPUs designed for critical applications, so it’s interesting to see it on another chip designer.
Right now, Phytium is sampling the new chips on partners that are making servers on its base. Mass production will start at the end of the year, so they should be available commercially until 2021. Phytium has also scheduled 7nm Phytium Tengyun S5000 processors for late 2021 and 5nm Tengyun S6000 processors for 2022. These are some seriously ambitious plans, and it will be interesting to see how they play out and impact the server industry. The announcement of these new chips is all the more exciting considering that Phytium initially designed servers and HPC processors because China could no longer import CPUs from Intel and AMD because of all the restrictions. Although Phytium also created processors for client PCs, they weren’t the focus; they were just a byproduct of their server business.
From now on, it seems that Phytium’s ambition is to focus entirely on multicore server processors. Still, there are rumors that the chip manufacturer also wants to work on a new series of SoCs for desktop and embedded applications, and that the series will be made either by SMIC or UMC instead of TSMC.