Zen-based Dhyana CPUs from Hygon appear in the Linux kernel – AMD's China deal bears fruit
AMD's China deal bears fruit
Published: 9th June 2018 | Source: Linux Kernel patches | Author: Mark Campbell
Zen-based Dhyana CPUs from Hygon appear in the Linux kernel
Back in 2016, AMD created a joint venture with the Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Company, a Chinese firm which agreed to pay AMD $293 million to license their x86 technology.
This joint venture created a company called Hygon, with Tianjin acting as a 70% shareholder. Hygon is a processor manufacturer whose aim is to develop chips that can "meet the actual needs of Chinese market", with support for their first processors, the Dhyana family of x86 processors, arriving in some of the Linux kernel's latest patches (link).
Hygon's Dhyana family shares most of its underlying architecture with AMD's 17h "Zen" family of processors, effectively creating a new x86 processor manufacturer in China, albeit with AMD technology. AMD's licensing deal will see the company receive royalties with every processor shipment, while simultaneously getting more software creators to work with Zen-like processors.
Dhyana's similarities to Zen can be seen by how easily support for the architecture was added to Linux, requiring less than 200 lines of new kernel code, a shockingly small amount of change for what could be considered as a new X86 processor type. This support was added without causing any coding conflicts with AMD EPYC series processors.
Below is some additional information about Hygon, which was founded back in 2016 with Tianjin and AMD as domestic and foreign shareholders.
HYGON was founded in February 2016, as a Sino-American Joint Venture Integrated Circuit Design Company. The Chinese shareholder is Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Company Ltd., and the foreign shareholder is Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD). The registered capital of HYGON is US $300 million, of which Chinese shareholder owns 70%. We headquarter in Chengdu Tianfu Software Park, with R&D branches in Beijing, Zhongguancun Software Park, Suzhou Industrial Park, Shanghai and the United States. The Company mainly designs advanced integrated circuit.
Based on the current international mainstream of microprocessor architecture, HYGON designs compatible, safe and reliable server processor chips that meet the actual needs of Chinese market. In the future, HYGON will optimize the micro architecture of processor core according to application requirement, and develop more competitive server processors and related processing chips by using the latest semiconductor technology.
Aside from their origins in AMD's Zen architecture, not much is known about China's new Hygon Dhyana series processors, though their emergence shows that AMD is likely to earn a lot of money from their Chinese licensing deal moving forward.
You can join the discussion on Hygon's Zen-based Dhyana x86 processors on the OC3D Forums.