Zhaoxin KX-6000 8-Core CPU Aims To Battle Intel And AMD In The x86 Arena

Odds are you haven't heard of Zhaoxin; the company is a joint venture between Via Technologies (a name you may know) and the Chinese government. Zhaoxin has unveiled its coming x86-compatible CPU called the KaiXian KX-6000 that promises to be at least 50% better performing than the KX-5000 CPU the company offered before. Zhaoxin wants to use the KX-6000 to take some of the market share Intel and AMD currently own in the x86 CPU market.

via kx 6000

The KX-6000 is an eight-core x86-64 SoC with 8MB of L2 cache, a DirectX 11.1 compatible integrated GPU, dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory controller, and the usual mix of I/O interfaces that users expect. That means it supports PCIe, SATA, and USB, among other interfaces. Via Technologies has no fab, so the KX-6000 is built on TSMC's 16nm FinFET tech and operates at up to 3.0GHz. Zhaoxin claims that the KX-6000 will deliver performance on par with seventh-generation Intel Core i5 parts. 

AnandTech reports that the KX-6000 series chips use the LuJiaZui microarchitecture, which is an x86-64-compatible superscalar, multi-issue, out-of-order design able to support instruction sets like SSE 4.2 and AVX. It also supports encryption technologies and virtualization. An exact date for shipments of these processors is unknown, but they are expected in 2019. Intel is expected to have shortages of its CPUs well into 2019 opening the door for other chipmakers to grab market share with parts that are available. Intel shortages have hit laptop shipments hard and could allow AMD to grab up to 30% of the CPU market overall. 

While Intel's CPU woes open the door for competition, anything associated with the Chinese government has a tough road in the U.S. due to government fears of spying and hacking. But in its home Chinese market, which happens to be one of the fastest growing PC markets in the world, Zhaoxin could certainly put lots of pressure on both AMD and Intel. Huawei, another firm associated with the Chinese government, has certainly had problems in the U.S. as regulators have put pressure on Google to disengage with Huawei over spying concerns. The NSA, FBI, and CIA have all warned American consumers to not use Huawei and ZTE (ZTE also has Chinese government ties) smartphones over spying concerns and national security. The pressure was high enough that Best Buy stopped selling Huawei smartphones in its stores around the nation.

image via PCwatch