18 5 月, 2024

Manufacturing

Processing Machinery

Another blockbuster chip from Ali comes out! Academician Ni Guangnan: “China Chip” should take the third way

8 min read

” China Core ” is more and more promising. At the 2022 RISC-V China Summit held on August 24, Ni Guangnan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a computer expert, said in his speech that RISC-V will develop into one of the world’s mainstream CPU architectures and is an important opportunity for China’s chip industry to take the initiative. lcd panel module

It is worth noting that the first high-performance RISC-V chip platform was also released at this conference. Alibaba Pingtou and the Institute of Software of the Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly tackled difficulties, and took the lead in realizing the large-scale operating system and software running on the RISC-V chip. Refresh a series of global RISC-V records.

 

Academician Ni Guangnan: Chinese chips go the third way!

 

According to the data, Academician Ni Guangnan participated in the development of the first electronic tube computer (119 machine) designed by China. In the 1960s and 1970s, the research on Chinese character processing and character recognition was carried out, and the associative function was applied in Chinese character input. During his tenure as chief engineer of the Computing Institute Company/Lenovo Group, he presided over the development of the Lenovo-style Chinese character system and the Lenovo series of microcomputers, and won the first prize of the National Science and Technology Progress Award in 1988 and 1992, respectively. Lenovo Group started with the Lenovo-style Chinese character system and got its name from it. Since then, it has been committed to the development of independent and controllable information core technologies and industries.

As we all know, before designing a chip, chip design and development must be carried out on a certain architecture. The chip architecture is like the foundation of a building. Without the support of the foundation, the chip design is like a castle in the sky. Therefore, chip designers will choose the chip architecture according to their own needs. The mobile terminal chooses ARM , and the PC terminal chooses X86. These two major architectures monopolize the global chip architecture market, and the corresponding ecology is very large.

Although the global chip architecture market is mainly monopolized by ARM and X86, there is also the rise of new architectures such as MIPS and RISC-V architectures. For a long time, Academician Ni Guangnan has been very optimistic about the RISC-V architecture. RISC-V is currently one of the three major CPU instruction sets in the world. Compared to ARM and X86, RISC-V is an open-source instruction set that allows anyone to design and manufacture chips and is royalty-free, meaning companies can adopt designs without paying licensing fees.

Another blockbuster chip from Ali comes out! Academician Ni Guangnan: "China Chip" should take the third way

(OFweek Weike Network Electronic Engineering organizes self-published data)

In the opinion of Academician Ni Guangnan, in the long run, there will only be a few mainstream CPU architectures. In the traditional information technology field, the X86 and ARM two instruction set architectures have formed a monopoly, and the patent barriers are strict, but in IoT, AI, edge In emerging fields such as computing, RISC-V has a bright market prospect. Focusing on the development of open source instruction set architecture RISC-V can give full play to the advantages of China’s large emerging application market and accelerate the development of China’s overall chip industry system.

 

Ali Pingtou’s “No Sword 600” came out

 

Among the many domestic chip companies focusing on the research and development of RISC-V architecture, Ali Pingtou is one of the most outstanding players.

At last year’s Yunqi Conference, Pingtou Ge made the world’s first full-stack open source Xuantie RISC-V series processors (E902, E906, C906, C910), and opened up a series of tools and system software to provide the digital era that will promote RISC-V The architecture is becoming mature, helping RISC-V software and hardware technology to accelerate the integration and development, and promote the implementation of innovation.

At this year’s summit, Pingtou Brother once again brought a new breakthrough in the field of RISC-V architecture, and released its first high-performance RISC-V chip platform “Wujian 600” and SoC prototype “Trailing 1520”, which is compatible with the Dragon Lizard Linux operating system for the first time. And successfully run LibreOffice, breaking a series of global RISC-V records.

It is understood that “Wujian 600” is the world’s highest RISC-V performance mass-produced SoC chip design platform: it supports 4-core high-performance RISC-V processors, the highest frequency can reach 2.5GHz, and realizes the CPU+XPU difference. The overall optimization of the architecture; supports 64-bit LPDDR4X, the highest throughput rate is 4266MT; integrates 4TOPs of Int8 AI computing power; the whole process meets the GP TEE international security standards. Based on the Wujian 600 software and hardware full-stack platform, developers and manufacturers can quickly develop RISC-V chips, and promote a new era of 2GHz high-performance RISC-V edge and cloud applications.

In addition, Pingtouge also launched the “Trailer 1520” based on the “Wujian 600” platform, which has sufficient performance to cover various scenarios such as edge computing, artificial intelligence, image recognition, and multimedia. At present, Yingying has been applied in Ali, and in the future, it can also be provided to developers who have not yet received customized chips. The system and software will be developed on Yingying in advance to further shorten the time for mass production of products.

Meng Jianyi , chairman of the 2022 RISC-V China Summit and vice president of Pingtou Ge Semiconductor, said: “In order to incubate more high-performance RISC-V chips faster and better, meet the needs of more different industries, and enrich RISC-V upper-layer applications , Brother Pingtou launched Wujian 600 in an innovative way of ‘platform + SoC prototype’, promoting the development of RISC-V hardware and software.”

Looking at the development of Pingtou Ge, in 2018, Ali acquired Zhongtianwei, and after merging the chip department of Dharma Institute, Pingtou Ge Semiconductor was established, and “Xuantie 910” was launched only one year after its establishment. In 2018, a series of products such as E902, E906, C906, C910, etc. were launched successively based on the RISC-V chip architecture. In the RISC-V International Foundation, Brother Pingtou even participated in the standard formulation of 29 technical directions, and took charge of 10 technical teams.

 

RISC-V architecture is getting louder

 

In the past two years, the domestic voice for the RISC-V architecture has been getting higher and higher, and the reason is very simple. Since the “ZTE Incident”, China has begun to push the RISC-V architecture.

For a long time, the development of China’s chip industry has been suppressed by foreign countries, especially the strict intellectual property protection system of ARM , Intel and other chips. Not only is it impossible to obtain authorization in chip research and development, but even if it can be authorized, it has to pay extremely expensive authorization fees, which are simply unaffordable for most small and micro start-ups.

More importantly, RISC-V is operated by the RISC-V Foundation, an international open source chip technology organization, and it is not a technology developed by a single American company. This also means that non-US companies can better avoid the influence and constraints of US chip hegemony when using the RISC-V architecture for open source chip research and development. With the emergence of emerging industries such as semiconductors , the Internet of Things, and cloud computing, the relatively closed and expensive characteristics of X86 and ARM architectures make enterprises have to find better solutions. Therefore, the open ecosystem of RISC-V architecture is gradually accepted by technology enterprises. of favor.

The biggest feature of RISC-V is “simplification”. Although it belongs to the same reduced instruction set architecture as ARM, because RISC-V was only launched in recent years, it does not carry the historical burden of backward compatibility, and the architecture is short and powerful. Compared with the hundreds and thousands of pages of x86 and ARM, the specification document of RISC-V is only 145 pages, and the length of the “privileged architecture document” is only 91 pages.

 

Advantage 1: Modularity and small number of instructions

 

Modularity: RISC – V organizes different parts together in a modular manner, and tries to meet various application scenarios through a unified architecture, which is not available in x86 and ARM architectures .

Small number of instructions: Benefiting from the short and compact architecture and modularity, the number of instructions of the RISC-V architecture is very concise. The number of basic RISC-V instructions is only more than 40, plus other modular extension instructions, there are only dozens of instructions in total.

 

Advantage 2: Open source, completely free and open

 

· RISC-V is fully open source, and has a full set of open source free compilers, development tools and software development environments (IDEs). Threshold for set modification. Compared with similar products, ARM needs to pay high IP fees to use it, and even need to pay “upfront payment” to see the details.

 

Great use in the future

 

In the long history, the processor architecture has been monopolized by the two camps of X86/ARM. The biggest difference between the two is that the X86 architecture is more expensive than the ARM architecture due to its closed nature, but has higher performance, faster speed and compatibility. The x86 architecture market driven by Intel is already quite large, almost from traditional PCs to data center-scale servers will use x86 architecture processors, and related software-driven application services also have a 40-year history of development.

ARM is mainly based on authorization, and its strong openness gives a high degree of independent development space. From the perspective of ecological openness, the ARM architecture was first designed and developed by Akcome Computer Company, which is different from the closed ecology (Intel) of the X86 architecture. At present, ARM does not sell chips, but adopts a licensing method, which enables other semiconductor manufacturers to build on the basis of the licensing architecture. To use and develop new products on the Internet, the authorization methods include, architecture/instruction set level authorization (the architecture can be transformed), IP core authorization (modify cache, frequency, etc. on the basis of the kernel), use level authorization (cannot be modified, directly used The designed chip), which greatly improves the transparency, openness and scope of application.

With the advent of the Internet of Things era, RISC-V, as an emerging architecture, with its streamlined volume, may be able to achieve absolute advantages in the future IoT field. At present, the RISC-V International Association has 300 members worldwide, including Google , IBM, Alibaba Cloud, Western Digital, Huawei and many other top technology companies at home and abroad. Domestically, the China RISC-V Industry Alliance was initiated and established by key enterprises, research institutions, and industry associations in the RISC-V field at home and abroad. VeriSilicon Holdings served as the first chairman unit of the alliance, Beijing Junzheng, Andes Technology, Xinlai Technology and Zhixianger Microelectronics serve as the vice-chairmen of the alliance. At present, more than 50 RISC-V related companies and more than ten universities and research institutions have joined.

Although the monopoly of ARM and Intel in the world for decades cannot be broken overnight, the birth of the RISC-V architecture has undoubtedly brought more development possibilities to the domestic chip industry, as Academician Ni Guangnan once said. Words: “X86 monopoly, ARM is too expensive, RISC-V can be used in the future!”