VIA / Centaur makes a comeback with all new x86-cores and integrated AI accelerator

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by Kaotik, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
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    Centaur Technologies, subsidiary of VIA Technologies, has announced new "server class x86 chip with integrated AI-accelerators"
    It has 8 all new x86 cores with claimed "high IPC" and AI-accelerator called "NCore" based on 32 768 -bit wide SIMD architecture

    https://centtech.com/ai-technology/

    More details will be released on December 2nd in "deep dive article" by Microprocessor Report
     
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  2. Davros

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    Are there any standard a.i api's that this chip accelerates or do you have to program for this cpu ?
     
  3. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
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    upload_2019-11-19_22-38-57.png
     
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  4. Davros

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  5. BRiT

    BRiT Verified (╯°□°)╯
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    I dont see April 1 anywhere...
     
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  6. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    The Walmart self check-outs will be sentient now.
     
  7. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    If Walmart is the start of Skynet then we really don't have anything to fear.
     
  8. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    Walmart already has robots running around the stores.

    May you live in interesting times.
     
  9. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
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  10. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
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    Well after a decade, such a big jump is expected, yet surprising considering their previous core.
     
  11. Magnum_Force

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    Some more insight into this chip from WikiChip, this time focusing on the NCORE processor:

    https://fuse.wikichip.org/news/3256/centaur-new-x86-server-processor-packs-an-ai-punch/

    Some nice die shots in there. The full wikichip article is up too:

    https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/centaur/microarchitectures/cha#CNS_Core_2

    What's interesting to me is the die size for this chip - its apparently 194mm2 and 34mm2 of that is for the NCORE.

    Compare that to 1st gen ZEN which is 212mm2, which has half as many memory channels and nearly half as many pcie lanes.
     
  12. kalelovil

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    The Zen (Summit Ridge) die has 32 PCI-E lanes, but the AM4 socket only connects 24 lanes on the desktop.

    It is one of a few aspects that are overbuilt for the desktop, inflating die size, but allowed them to use the same die across desktop, workstation, embedded and server products.
     
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  13. ToTTenTranz

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    Are these the same cores going into the Zhaoxin motherboards that went on sale in the chinese market?
     
  14. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
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    Doesn't look like it.
    According to https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/centaur/microarchitectures/cha#CPUID this is CentaurHauls Family 6 Model 71 Stepping 1, while Zhaoxins new chip is CentaurHauls Family 7 Model 11 Stepping 1
     
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  15. ToTTenTranz

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    So the Zhaoxin CPU is an evolution of the same Centaur cores but without the neural network units?
     
  16. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
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    The NCORE is separate from the CPU cores, also if they're small evolutionary step it should belong to same Family of CPUs. Though there is some variance in the naming and I have no clue how often CentaurHauls changes families.
    For example Intel has everything from P6 to Tiger Lake including Atoms in Family 6, while Netburst in between was different Family. On AMD side Zen/Zen+/Zen2 are Family 17 (Except for the chinese Hygon Dhyana which was Family 18), but Zen 3 will be Family 19, Bulldozer-based were one family, while Cat-cores were 2 families split to Bobcat and Jaguar/Puma.
     
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  17. ToTTenTranz

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    Then there isn't really a fixed criteria over what AMD calls a family, at least not one I can identify. The Jaguar is clearly an evolution of Bobcat and they called it a different family.

    I used the term evolution mostly because of the timings (one coming right after the other), and assumed VIA doesn't seem to have the manpower to be developing 2 distinct architectures at the same time.
     
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