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AMD Will Not License Zen 2 to Chinese Joint Venture

Accepted submission by takyon at 2019-06-05 17:22:15

AMD has no plans to license its Zen 2 microarchitecture [] to the Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co. Ltd. (THATIC) joint venture:

AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed to Tom's Hardware at Computex 2019 that the company isn't licensing further chip designs to its China-backed joint venture. That means that AMD's chip-producing joint venture in China will be confined to the Zen architecture that debuted in first-gen Ryzen and EPYC Naples processors, but will not move forward with designs based on AMD's new Zen 2 microarchitecture that powers the third-gen Ryzen and EPYC Rome processors.

[...] The agreement allowed Hygon, a Chinese server vendor, to design specialized processors based upon AMD's Zen microarchitecture, which is the underlying design of AMD's Ryzen and EPYC processors. Many of the architectural customizations consisted of specialized cryptographic elements that meet the requirements of the Chinese government, with the first products consisting of Hygon's 'Dhyana' x86 processors that appeared to be near-replicas of AMD's EPYC data center processors. We are told there are other optimizations to the architecture that are designed specifically for the Chinese market, but we haven't been given more details. Sugon, a Chinese government-backed server vendor, also had plans for a Zen 2-based exascale supercomputer, but the status of that project is now unknown.

[...] We asked Lisa Su if the company would continue working with the THATIC joint venture amid the U.S.-China trade war, and Su said that while the company is continuing the joint venture, "we are not discussing any additional technology transfers," and elaborated that most of the work took place on the JV's side, while there "is not a lot of work on the AMD side."

"THATIC was a single-generation technology license, and there are no additional technology licenses," Su explained, though she did not clarify if the decision not to extend the technology transfers was a direct result of the trade war. That means that the technology transfer, which provided THATIC with access to the first-gen Zen microarchitecture, will not be extended to allow the Chinese chipmaker access to AMD's Zen 2 microarchitecture.

Also at TechSpot [].

Previously: Chinese Company Produces Chips Closely Based on AMD's Zen Microarchitecture []
More on AMD's Licensing of Epyc Server Chips to Chinese Companies []

Original Submission