Hygon, chinese semiconductor company, is now making Zen-based x86 CPUs using a licensing agreement it signed with AMD in 2016. Dhyana x86 processors are copies of AMD’s own Zen-based EPYC processor. AMD was paid $293 million in cash and will get royalty payments from unit sales.
The Zen-based Dhyana would only be used in exascale supercomputers if they were used with more powerful accelerator, such as a future version of the Chinese-built Matrix-2000. However, more licensing agreements could follow for AMD’s next-generation Zen 2 CPU or maybe even their Radeon GPUs.
Dhyana is part of China’s plan to develop a domestic chipmaking capability. China could also choose to license x86, Arm, and OpenPower architectures. The completely open source RISC-V architecture, which is being considered by the EU for future supercomputers, could be yet another option for China.
Europe supercomputer chips
Europe is developing their own supercomputer chips to power future exascale supercomputers. They are developing Arm and RISC-V chips.
The first generation of these HPC processors are expected to be delivered before 2020. They will be used for pre-exascale supercomputers scheduled to be deployed across the EU in the 2020 to 2021 timeframe. The second-generation chips will be in Europe’s first exascale systems in 2023 and 2024. EuroHPC is leading the work to catch to the US, China, and Japan in high-performance computing technology.