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Alibaba unveils custom ARM-based server chip for cloud computing data centers

Stock MarketsOct 18, 2021 11:55PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a logo of Alibaba Group at its office building in Beijing, China August 9, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

By Josh Horwitz

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Chinese tech giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group Holding Ltd said on Tuesday it has developed a processor that will be used to power servers in its data centers.

The development marks the latest foray into semiconductors for the company, mirroring moves from other global cloud computing players while also dovetailing with Chinese government's priorities to boost the nation's chip sector.

Developed by Alibaba's in-house semiconductor unit T-Head, the chip — the Yitian 710 — is based on architecture from UK-based Arm Ltd, and will not be available for commercial use outside of Alibaba.

Alibaba is the largest cloud computing provider in China by market share and the third-largest globally, according to research firm Gartner (NYSE:IT).

Its rivals in the sector have also released server chips of their own. Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) rely on their respective Kunpeng and Graviton chips to power their cloud computing infrastructure.

Alibaba also said it has a developed proprietary line of servers, called Panjiu, and added that it will make the source code for its Xuantie series of IP cores — based on the RISC-V open source architecture — available to the public. Alibaba unveiled the Xuantie in 2019.

China's government has long urged industry to invest in the domestic chip sector, which remains behind that of global counterparts.

The country remains reliant on overseas companies for much of its advanced semiconductors, a vulnerability brought forth when U.S. sanctions against Huawei crippled that company's booming smartphone business.

In addition to Alibaba, search giant Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU), phone maker Xiaomi (OTC:XIACF) Corp, and a number of Chinese automotive and appliance companies have begun investing in chips.

Alibaba unveils custom ARM-based server chip for cloud computing data centers
 

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Comments (5)
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Oct 19, 2021 2:16AM ET
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It is still the west tech. If Arm pulls the license then they will b dea,.d . the only other choice for them is Berkely riscv which is still limited.
Dean Stone
Dean Stone Oct 19, 2021 1:43AM ET
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Good news ✌
David David
David9 Oct 19, 2021 12:34AM ET
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I told you guys... China is coming on strong... if you ban someone they are bound to do their own.
Mominul Islam
Mominul Islam Oct 18, 2021 10:36PM ET
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very nice
Mominul Islam
Mominul Islam Oct 18, 2021 10:35PM ET
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mominul
 
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