Chinese tech giant Huawei has shown significant progress in developing its own central processing unit (CPU) cores, a key component in various computing devices. Although they are not yet on par with the absolute leading edge, the metrics show that their performance has reached the level of the top contenders from a few years ago, suggesting that they can adequately serve a large part of the market.

Huawei has shown progress in CPU development, catching up but not yet on the cutting edge

A recent benchmark test, reported from the US magazine Tom’s Hardware, evaluated the performance of Huawei’s Taishan V120 core, one of his own designs. The Taishan V120’s single-core performance matches that of AMD’s Zen 3 cores released in 2020. This means that while Huawei is still behind at the forefront of CPU technology, the gap has narrowed significantly. The performance of the Taishan V120 is generally sufficient for most mainstream market applications.

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This tested core is part of Huawei’s new Kirin 9000s system-on-a-chip (SoC). It includes four Taishan V120 cores along with two ARM Cortex A510 cores to handle less demanding tasks efficiently. The Kirin 9000s itself uses contract manufacturer SMIC’s second-generation 7-nanometer manufacturing process.

However, the exact chip tested in the benchmark remains unclear. The test is labeled “Huawei Cloud OpenStack Nova”. It has been suggested that this could be a Kunpeng server processor, potentially the Kunpeng 930. This chip was initially official before the full scope of the US sanctions against Huawei went into effect. It was originally planned for 5nm production by TSMC and a launch timeframe of 2021. However, those plans were disrupted, forcing Huawei to use the processor with alternative arrangements, leading to the current delay.

Overall, Huawei’s progress in CPU development demonstrates their ability to adapt and partially offset the restrictions imposed by the US embargo. Although they haven’t reached the top tier yet, their improvements bring their offerings closer to meeting mass market demands. It remains to be seen how quickly they can close the remaining gap and potentially compete for the top spot in the future.

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Huawei’s CPU Cores Catching Up: A Promising Development in Chip Technology