Core IP Series Becomes Open Source to the RISC-V Community for the Benefit of Global Developers
HANGZHOU, China, Oct 19 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, today unveiled a new internal processor design for use in its data centers. The server chips, called Yitian 710, are custom made by T-Head, the chip development department of Alibaba Group. Powered by these chips, Alibaba Cloud also announced the development of its own servers called panjiu. The combination will enhance the company’s leading cloud services by optimizing compute performance and energy efficiency.
“Adapting our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts to improve our computing capabilities with better performance and improved energy efficiency,” said Jeff Zhang, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence and head of Alibaba DAMO Academy; at the Apsara Conference, Alibaba’s annual flagship event. “We plan to use the chips to support current and future businesses across the Alibaba Group ecosystem. We will also be offering our customers next-generation computing services in the near future, powered by the new chip-powered servers.” .”
“Together with our global partners, including Intel, Nvidia, AMD and Arm, we will continue to innovate our computing infrastructure and offer diverse computing services to our global customers,” Zhang added.
Built on advanced 5nm process technology, Yitian 710 is powered by 128 Arm cores with a top clock speed of 3.2GHz for exceptional performance and excellent power efficiency. Each processor chip has 60 billion integrated transistors. Yitian 710 is the first server processor compatible with the latest Armv9 architecture and includes 8 DDR5 channels and 96-lane PCIe 5.0, providing high memory and I/O bandwidth.
Yitian 710 achieved a score of 440 in SPECint2017 (a standard benchmark for measuring the entire computing power of the CPU), surpassing the current state-of-the-art Arm server processor by 20% in performance and 50% in energy efficiency.
panjiu was developed for the next generation of cloud-native infrastructure. By separating compute and storage, the servers are optimized for both general and specialized AI computing, as well as high-performance storage. With a modular design approach for large-scale data center deployment, these servers are expected to deliver exceptional economic value for a wide variety of cloud-native workloads, such as containerized applications and computed optimized workloads.
Fostering open source initiatives
During the same keynote, Alibaba also announced that it would release the source code of the XuanTie IP core series, among other emerging cores. The XuanTie series are Alibaba’s custom processors based on RISC-V instruction set architecture. Developers now have access to the source code of the XuanTie series of IP cores on Github and Open Chip Community to build their own prototype chips, which can be adapted for IoT applications such as networking, gateway and edge servers. In addition, XuanTie-related software stacks, which support multiple operating systems, including Linux, Android, RTOS and Alibaba’s own AliOS, will also open. Alibaba will provide more services and support for development tools, SDKs and custom cores in the future.
“By opening up the IP cores of our internal IoT processors and related software stacks and development tools, we aim to help global developers build their own RISC-V-based chips in a much more cost-effective way,” Zhang added. “We hope this move can encourage more innovation among the thriving RISC-V software community, and as a result help people enjoy the benefits of a connected world in the digital age.”
“Alibaba supports the RISC-V community through their continued contributions, technical leadership and deep collaboration with RISC-V stakeholders,” said Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International. “Alibaba is leading by example and has inspired the global RISC-V community to increase innovation in chip development with benefits for the entire RISC-V ecosystem.”
Alibaba has released its first AI inference chip Hangang 800 in 2019. The AI chip has been deployed in Alibaba Clouds data centers to power businesses in areas such as search, recommendations, and live streaming.
As regards Alibaba Cloud
Founded in 2009, Alibaba Cloud (www.alibabacloud.com) is the digital technology and intelligence backbone of the Alibaba Group. It provides customers around the world with a complete suite of cloud services, including elastic computing, databases, storage, network virtualization services, large-scale computing, security, management and application services, big data analytics, a machine learning platform, and IoT services. Alibaba Cloud is China’s leading provider of public cloud services by revenue in 2019, including PaaS and IaaS services, according to IDC. Alibaba Group is the world’s third leading and Asia-Pacific leading IaaS provider by 2020 revenue in US dollars, according to Gartner’s April 2021 report.
SOURCE Alibaba Cloud