How much does AMD provide X86 license to the joint venture company to Loongson/Haisi/Feiteng?

According to foreign media reports, AMD and Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co., Ltd. reached an agreement - AMD provides X86 licensing and other technologies to the joint venture company, the joint venture company will use the technology to develop server chips sold only in China, and AMD is expected to receive 293 million US dollar license fee and royalty income. After the news came out, AMD's share price soared. On April 22, US Eastern Time, AMD's latest share price was 3.99, or 52.29%.

How much impact does AMD have authorized Chinese joint ventures to develop X86 CPUs for Loongson and HiSilicon?

Then, in the context of the European and American technology companies' technically strict blockade of mainland China, why did AMD come to China for joint ventures? Is the joint venture legally entitled to X86 authorization? Will the joint venture with AMD have an impact on Loongson, Shenwei, Feiteng, Zhaoxin, Hongxin and Huawei?

|AMD is not a good day

The survival space in the X86 chip market has been eroded by Intel. As early as many years ago, AMD's market share was once close to Intel. But now, in the X86 chip market, Intel accounts for 87.7%, AMD accounts for 12.1%; Intel in the enterprise data center accounts for 99.4%, and AMD's market share has dropped to 0.6%. In terms of graphics card business, AMD is also facing the disadvantage of facing NVIDIA. .. According to AMD's earnings report, revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $958 million, operating loss was $49 million, and net loss was $102 million. In 2015, the annual turnover was US$3.99 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 28%. At the same time, AMD's share price is also unbelievably low - in 2015, AMD's market capitalization was only $2 billion.

It is the operating conditions that make AMD have to seek cooperation with mainland China. According to the information released by foreign media, AMD's cooperation with mainland China is obviously profitable. So far, AMD has generated $52 million in revenue, of which $7 million has been included in the first quarter of 2016, and the stock has jumped 52.29%. The entire agreement is expected to bring AMD $293 million in licensing fees and Royalty income. It can be said that this gives AMD a powerful cardiotonic agent in trouble.

| Does the joint venture have an X86 license?

Since AMD and Intel signed a cross-licensing agreement in 2009, the agreement stipulates that X86 authorization cannot be transferred to third-party companies. Whether the joint venture company established by Tianjin Haiguang and AMD can legally own X86 authorization has become the focus of external attention. Intel refused to express its position, but felt that the response was still quite large; AMD spokesman said that the Chinese agreement does not violate the cross-licensing agreement because the ownership structure of the joint venture is different and all information transferred to China is in compliance with US export regulations. ”

So what is going on here? In fact, as long as you understand the conditions that AMD threw out when seeking cooperation with Dawning and Lenovo, it will be clear.

The conditions given by AMD in the past were quite sincere:

First, it took out the source code of AMD's mainstream products in the market in 2013, and allowed the joint venture company to modify it to form an autonomous CPU core, which is equivalent to having an X86 license in disguise.

The second is to set up a joint venture IP company to design CPU cores. The joint venture IP company must be controlled by AMD. Because of the agreement between AMD and Intel, if AMD is a minority shareholder of IP, the joint venture IP company will not be authorized by X86. Only when AMD remains in control, the joint venture can obtain X86 authorization. . However, although the company is controlled by AMD, China can obtain the company's management rights.

The third is to set up a chip company, which develops CPU based on the CPU core designed by AMD's joint venture IP company. The chip company is controlled by the Chinese party, and even the Chinese party can fully grasp all the shares, because only in this way, the CPU developed by the company can meet the requirements of the nuclear high base, and then can obtain the support of the government, and then enter the party and government military market.

As for whether the joint venture plan will encounter Intel lawsuits - although Intel has a large law firm, AMD has its own law firm as a US listed company, and US listed companies will not make obvious violations of laws and regulations. Since AMD announced today, it shows that at least AMD's lawyers are still confident about the legal compliance of this matter.

If the latest joint venture conditions have not changed much, the joint venture between Tianjin Haiguang and AMD can indeed modify AMD's CPU core and enjoy the X86 license in disguise. Haiguang can develop the server CPU by purchasing the CPU core developed by the joint venture company. Can only be limited to the Chinese market.

What is the level of AMD's open technology to China?

Here first talk about the relationship between the CPU core and the CPU.

CPU core is also known as micro-structure, AMD's Excavator, Godson's GS464E, Feiteng's "xiaomi", Intel's haswell, ARM's Cortex A72 are micro-structures, CPU performance, power consumption, security is largely Depending on the microstructure, AMD's 6-core and 8-core CPUs are not as good at performance as the main frequency, or just equivalent to Intel's 4-core CPU performance, largely because AMD's microstructure is not as good as Intel's. Therefore, the meaning of the microstructure (CPU core) is self-evident.

The dual-core, quad-core, and eight-core CPUs that people often hear are actually interconnecting and integrating 2, 4, and 8 micro-structured (CPU cores) interfaces into a single piece of silicon (of course, the current CPU integration is very high, integration The part is not limited to this). The chip company is based on the IP developed by the joint venture company to do the CPU, which is essentially the same as the integration of HiSilicon and Spreadtrum's IP license.

Lenovo ZX-A is the vest of VIA NANO, and the core CP1 is the vest of power8. The original product of the joint venture company is likely to be the vest of the CPU core designed by AMD, and even use the "excavator" or "roller" directly. "In view of the fact that the West has consistently maintained the objective reality of the N-1, or even the N-2 generation of technical subsistence in the Chinese technology authorization, and the ZEN still has no finished products, the author uses the "Roller" to work with the Godson. , Shen Wei, Zhao Xin, Hai Si to compare.

At present, the best CPU core of Godson is GS464E. The best server chip of Shenwei is Shenwei 1621, the CPU core code is unknown; the best CPU core of Zhaoxin is still VIA's "Isaiah", and Hess has two models. The server chip, a 16-core Cortex A57, the CPU core of another server chip is designed independently, but there is no product yet, so the Cortex A57 with the product is compared.

According to the information collected by the author, in addition to the use of SWCC by Shenwei and other GCC compilers, the test results of various CPU core SPEC2000 are as follows:

Godson, GS464E, integer: 764/G, floating point: 1120/G;

Shen Wei, integer: 683/G, floating point: 957/G;

Mega core, "Isaiah", integer 570/G, floating point 499/G;

Hisilicon, Cortex A57, integer 592/G, floating point 721/G;

AMD, roller, integer 903/G, floating point 1037/G.

Obviously, on the CPU core, the advantages of the road roller relative to the GS464E are not large, and it is still at a disadvantage in floating point performance. However, although AMD's technology for mainland China does not have absolute advantages in terms of front-end design, but in terms of back-end design, AMD's technical strength is extremely strong, which has a huge advantage over domestic CPU companies - AMD The CPU's main frequency is mostly above 3G, while the domestic CPU's main frequency is mostly within 2G. If you can really learn the technology in the joint venture, and then raise the frequency of your own CPU, it is also very good.

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