Huaxintong, which is shut down, sounds the alarm for domestic semiconductors

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/ 2019-04-22 / News

Guizhou Huaxintong Semiconductor Technology Co., Ltd. held an internal communication meeting, announcing the careful decision of shareholders, the company will be closed on April 30, all employees will leave the company before this. The employee's compensation plan for resignation is basically the same as most people's psychological expectations, and no one has shown an excessive reaction. It seems that Qualcomm layoffs let Huaxintong, as a joint venture company, swallow the last bitter water.

 

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Three years ago, Guizhou Huaxintong asked the city high-profile, and even once let the public Recognizing this is a new leap in domestic chips. However, the situation that has turned sharply is the situation today. It is really eye-popping, so what caused the short-lived of this domestic chip company, let us sort out.

 

Working closely with Qualcomm, Thang Long 4800 is ready to go

 

2016 In January, Guizhou Province and Qualcomm signed a strategic cooperation agreement and established a joint venture Huaxintong to design and sell international-level Arm server chips for the Chinese market. According to the agreement, the initial registered capital of the joint venture was 1.85 billion yuan (about 280 million US dollars), of which Guizhou accounted for 55% of the shares, and Qualcomm accounted for 45%. At the end of the year, Huaxintong announced the official opening of the Beijing R&D Center in Wangjing, Beijing. "Becoming one of the most competitive core chip companies in China is the goal we have always pursued." The words of Dr. Wang Kai, the CEO of Huaxintong, are still in the ear.

 

At the media meeting at the time, he said that the computer field is undergoing profound changes, and traditional computing is moving from high-concurrency, high-bandwidth clouds to enterprises. The ability to address bandwidth bottlenecks with new technologies and provide a balanced solution for the data center is becoming the focus of competition in the industry. therefore,In the core value of Huaxintong, we always emphasize science and technology as the leading factor, and strive to develop independent, controllable, safe and secure server chips for the Chinese market based on the world's advanced technological advantages.

 

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Huaxintong once carried the dream of Arm architecture "China Core", In the early days of its establishment, you can see the power of the Guizhou provincial government for this project. At that time, Qualcomm was also ambitious. The server chip broke Intel's monopoly and opened up a day in the Chinese market. In November last year, Huaxintong’s “Chenglong” cpu was born and received extensive media attention and coverage. According to Huaxintong employees, after the mass production was announced, the market response was very enthusiastic.Some large Internet customers have expressed their intention to place orders.

 

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Huaxintong's "town house treasure" - Thang Long 4800 The 48-core processor chip, which is compatible with the ARMv8 architecture, is amazing in terms of CPU design and performance. It is packaged in an advanced 10nm process package in the server field. It integrates 18 billion transistors in 400 square millimeters of silicon and can execute up to 500 billion instructions per second. The Thang Long 4800 has the dual advantages of low power consumption and high performance, and is comparable in performance to mainstream high-end server chip products in the international market. In addition, in terms of security, the Thang Long 4800 integrates a cryptographic module that complies with the Chinese commercial cryptographic algorithm standard.Combined with a secure and controllable infrastructure, it provides chip-level technology implementation for information security of application systems.

 

It is understood that the core server chip of Huaxintong is based on Qualcomm's Centriq2400 chip, or has a lot of relationship with Qualcomm Centriq2400. Huaxintong mentioned in the media interview that their first chip is based on Qualcomm's chip and added some research on security.

 

Fate haste, lost technical thighs

 

on mobile chip Qualcomm, which has been in the field for 30 years, seems to have entered an extremely embarrassing situation in the near future. Born by Botong, it was implicated in the Sino-US trade war, and the patent war with Apple was difficult to stop. The acquisition of NXP was repeatedly blocked, and the revenue gradually declined. In order to reduce the cost investment, it began to lay off employees and withdraw from the poorly profitable business (such as server chips). Expand the Chinese market.

 

December 28, 2018,Qualcomm announced a massive layoff in its data center business, with a total of 269 layoffs, including 144 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and 125 in San Diego, California. This is Qualcomm's major layoffs in the data center business.

 

But Qualcomm is also appropriate to appease Huaxintong. At 2018 China International Big Data Industry Expo, Qualcomm President Christiano Amon announced that he will continue to support Qualcomm and Guizhou Provincial Government joint venture company Huaxintong from technology and capital to develop server chips and support the big data industry in Guizhou. And the development of China's semiconductor industry. Steiniano Amon’s speech this time is obviously aimed at the previous Qualcomm’s cutting out the entire ARM server CPU staff. The reason why it will be announced during the 2018 China International Big Data Industry Expo is obviously to dispel the concerns of the local government in China and to be the joint venture company of Huaxintong. However, even so, there are still many uncertainties in the prospect of the joint venture between the Chinese local government and Qualcomm.

 

 

Qualcomm abandoning the server chip is a helpless move

 

The server chip is a business that requires long-term capital investment and needs It takes a long time to get a return on investment, and few companies have the ability to get involved in this market. According to IDC data, of the 9.81 million servers sold in 2016, 9.6 million x86 chips accounted for 98%. According to market research firm Mercury Research, in the second quarter of 2017, Intel accounted for 99.7% of x86 server chip sales, and AMD accounted for only 0.3%. Obviously in the server chip market, chip giant Intel has an absolute "right to speak."

 

Before Qualcomm,ARM also tried to challenge Intel, but it has been frustrated. In 2017, Arm teamed up with eight semiconductor companies including Qualcomm, HiSilicon and Feiteng to launch the Arm architecture server chip. The process technology is mainly 10nm and 7nm. The goal is to achieve a 25% market share in 2021. At present, the market share of the Arm architecture server chip is growing much faster than expected.

 

 

According to non-network reports, Qualcomm's exit from the server chip market has both external market competition and pressure from its own financial pressure. In the short term, it is difficult to shake Intel's position in the server chip market. In the long run, Qualcomm does not have enough funds to invest heavily, but not revenue.

 

 

The reason why Qualcomm is difficult to retreat is that ARM technology is difficult to control the data center field. Although ARM technology is the basis of mobile phone chips, its chip design has not been widely used in data centers. Currently, Intel's chip design dominates the data center.

 

 

Huaxintong is struggling and has become a strong end

 

With Qualcomm's technology After the mass loss of personnel,The high-end server chip R&D joint venture established by Qualcomm and the Guizhou Provincial Government will also usher in more uncertainties. In the Qualcomm layoffs, Qualcomm data center business unit president Anand Chandrasekher and technology vice president Dileep Bhandarkar have resigned. Although Qualcomm said it will still support Huaxintong, the main players will retreat, and the remaining remnants will have the ability to help Huaxintong.

 

And Qualcomm apparently made Huaxintong in a very embarrassing situation. As far as the performance of the ARM server CPU is concerned, it is inferior to Huawei, and it is not comparable to the mainstream CPU. This will inevitably lead to the fact that Huaxintong's CPU is difficult to find its own living space in the party and government markets and the commercial market, and can only rely on the government to transmit blood.

 

However, Huaxintong has been losing large numbers of talents since last year, and R&D personnel have switched to peer companies. Moreover, Dr. Wang Kai, CEO of Huaxintong, has quietly left this year.

 

Finally, I finally waited for that moment.Huaxintong held an internal communication meeting and announced that the company's careful decision-making, the company will be closed on April 30, all employees will leave the company before this. It was also revealed that the management of the company also gave the employee's compensation plan for resignation, which was basically consistent with the psychological expectations of most people. The on-site staff did not show an excessive reaction. Although many people have been psychologically prepared before, but the news came out, the overall atmosphere in the company is still somewhat embarrassing, after all, no one has thought that the enterprises that joined the previous ambitions will come to this point.

 

After all the mature ecology, there will be countless companies going out of business. Although Huaxintong is a joint venture company, it is also part of the “China Core”. This kind of sigh is awkward...

 

Huaxintong is made in China. The chip company has sounded the alarm

 

 

The reason why Huaxintong has this outcome is ultimately that the core technology is not in our own hands. In the absence of core technology, we can only be regarded as a “shell”. It is a little risky to simply use this method to open the market. This method is currently unable to rely on the commercial market to create blood. The so-called commercial is more Commercial use under the government's will. Because the ARM server ecosystem has not been able to get up, it can only rely on the government's blood transfusion. It is true that Huaxintong has a very good background and can get a lot of resources. However, the government's blood transfusion is not endless, and The government's blood transfusion and ecological energy can not be built, CPU technology can not match Intel has nothing to do with. Huaxintong's ARM CPU can not talk about "independent research and development", let alone "safe and controllable". In Qualcomm this "foreign" After the thighs themselves have cut all the employees including the ARM server CPU project leader, it is a problem for Huaxintong to get much technical support. Once the government has burned out the money, the preferential policy Exhausted,That is why Huaxin is going to go on, and only God knows.

 

The core CPU of Huaxintong is neither "independent research and development", let alone "safe and controllable". After Qualcomm's "foreign thighs" themselves cut all employees including the ARM server CPU project leader, how much technical support Hualite can get is a problem.

 

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Therefore, if you don't master the core technology, the government's blood transfusion alone is not a long-term solution. How to better rely on foreign core technology, through the further introduction, digestion, absorption, and develop a chip product more suitable for the Chinese market, is also a challenge before us.

 

 

Part of this article is integrated from the Internet. If you have any questions, please feel free to advise


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