To a wide audience, China-based Hygon Information Technology is known for its ill-fated partnership with AMD, which began shortly after Lisa Su took over as CEO, but ended in 2019 after tightening US export control rules.This week, Hygon stock went public in Shanghai, valuing the company's business at $20.7 billion.Image source: Hygon Information TechnologyFactually, as the Nikkei Asian Review explains, Hygon Information Technology's initial public offering was priced 94 percent higher than estimated, indicating investor confidence in the company's continued business growth.This developer of central processors and gas pedals for machine learning systems was founded in 2014, the company's development and research spending reaches 70% of its rather modest revenue, which did not exceed $341 million last year.It cannot be ruled out that access to capital in the stock market will allow Hygon to open a new stage in the company's development.Until 2019, it had access to the technological capacities of TSMC and GlobalFoundries, as it received from them licensed clones of AMD EPYC and Ryzen first-generation processors with the encryption block modified to Chinese national standards.Later, the U.S.sanctions limited the ability of Hygon to produce these processors, forcing the company to focus on its own developments.Investors are likely to be looking at the prospects of increased state investment in the semiconductor sector of the PRC economy, since now it covers only 20% of the national market demand for components, which is far from the target.
China's EJ Hardware video blog tested a duo of Chinese Hygon C86 3185 processors that are little known outside the country. The Zen architecture chips are produced as part of a joint project between AMD and Hygon the Chinese company has been licensed to produce the processors domestically.
Hygon C86 processors are manufactured using 14nm technology, and the line includes mainstream and server models from 4 to 32 Zen cores. Externally Hygon C86 are almost indistinguishable from AMD Ryzen and EPYC. What's more, they should fit AM4 and SP3, though in most cases they come soldered to the motherboard. Last year's Hygon C86 3185 chip has 8 Zen cores with multi-threading support (SMT), base clock speed is 2.0 GHz, peak & ; 3.4 GHz. The L2 cache capacity is 4 Mbytes, L3 & ; 16 Mbytes. In fact, the C86 3185 is an analogue of the Ryzen 7 1700X with a lower clock speed & ; they even have the same TDP (95W). In the comparison tests a motherboard with two C86 3185 processors soldered, that is 16 cores Zen was used. The server motherboard had some limitations: in particular, the memory frequency was locked to DDR4-1866 and there was no option to increase it. In the other corner of the ring» was the Ryzen 5 5600X processor: 6 cores Zen 3, the base clock speed 3.7 GHz and peak 4.6 GHz. This processor is made on 7nm technology, and its TDP is lower by 30W.
In single-core performance Ryzen 5 5600X was the clear leader & ; first generation Zen cores simply didn't stand a chance against Zen 3. In single-core Cinebench R20 and R23 tests American chip was 97% and 135% ahead. But in multi-core tests Cinebench R20 and R23 the leader was Hygon with the results 12 % and 13 % higher accordingly. In Blender and x264 HD Benchmark, C86 3185 was also better & ; it showed 23 % and 33 % less performance than Ryzen 5 5600X. But in PCMark 10 American chip was ahead by 59 %. Decent results Hygon C86 3185 showed in gaming test, the role of which went to Cyberpunk 2077. Combined with GeForce RTX 3080 Ti the processors provided adequate frame rates in both 1080p and 4K. The reviewers concluded that the undoubted advantage of the American processor is the newer Zen 3 architecture, although in multi-threaded tasks the opponents behave almost equally & ; in any case, the difference is not significant. Although China in this joint project aims not to break performance records, but to gain at least relative independence from foreign technologies.
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