It is reported that Beijing open source chip research institute has been established, which will operate the “Xiangshan” core of open source high-performance risc-v processor. Previously, “Xiangshan” was promoted by the Institute of computing technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. According to the data released by it, risc-v architecture can develop chips with performance comparable to arm architecture with backward technology, which is a major blow to arm.

It is reported that the first generation core “Yanqi Lake” developed by the Institute of computing of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was rolled in July last year and produced by 28 nm process. Its performance reached the level of Xiaolong 835 produced by 10 nm process according to the performance test software spec cpu2006. Such performance is shocking.

This reflects the superiority of risc-v architecture, which can produce chips with stronger performance with backward technology. This is very important for Chinese chips, because TSMC’s current mass production process is 5nm, while the most advanced domestic process is 14nm. It is reported that the company plans to produce the next generation of core “Nanhu” with 14nm process, which is close to the current Xiaolong 8g1 in terms of performance.

Risc-v is a new architecture. Its original design intention is to produce chips with stronger performance with backward technology while maintaining low power consumption. Now Xiangshan core developed by Beijing Kaixin Research Institute has proved this.

With the establishment of Beijing Kaixin, it will officially authorize domestic chip enterprises to develop chips to help domestic enterprises develop chips with strong performance at a lower cost, thus opening up a new path outside arm.

Before 2019, the Chinese chip industry mostly developed chips based on ARM architecture. However, the experience of Huawei in 2019 showed that arm, a British company, was also deeply influenced by the United States. Many of its technologies came from the United States, so it had to comply with the requirements of the United States. Due to the influence of the United States, TSMC in Taiwan, China can no longer produce chips for Huawei since September 15, 2020.

Therefore, domestic chips must be truly independent research and development, that is, chip architecture and chip manufacturing technology must adopt independent research and development technology. At present, the most advanced chip manufacturing process in China is only 14nm process, and the mass production of 7Nm process is being promoted. However, TSMC and Samsung are already promoting the mass production of 3nm process. Based on the reality of the existing chip manufacturing process, we have to find ways in chip design. At this time, risc-v architecture has won the favor of domestic chips.

In 2018, China risc-v industry alliance was officially established. However, due to the lack of ecosystem of risc-v architecture, domestic chips did not invest too much resources in risc-v. now domestic chips have to face the reality and begin to increase investment in risc-v architecture. The technological progress of Beijing core opening points out the direction for domestic chips.

The plan of Beijing open core is undoubtedly a major blow to arm. Previously, China has made significant progress in risc-v architecture. The risc-v architecture chip xuantie series developed by Alibaba’s Flathead brother has shipped billions of chips. Now, with the promotion of Beijing open core, risc-v architecture will further break the performance ceiling, and will be opened to domestic chip enterprises, which can further improve the ecosystem, In this way, risc-v architecture is expected to compete with arm in the domestic market in the future and hold more chip discourse power.

The development of risc-v architecture has not only received the support of China’s chip industry, but also received the support of Intel in the global market. Intel tried to acquire sifive company, which developed risc-v architecture last year. The reason is that Intel is now facing the challenge of arm. Intel has to develop risc-v architecture to compete with arm. In this way, the risc-v camp is expected to expand rapidly, thus ending arm’s monopoly position in the mobile chip market in the global market.

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