AMD EPYC CPU clone Hygon C86 developed in China is best suited for cryptographic loads
AMD EPYC CPU clones made in China? Yes, but not in a cheap way, by any means. These CPUs are essentially gen 1 AMD EPYC CPUs produced by GlobalFoundries with a few modifications specified by an AMD-Hygon joint venture based in China. Among the modifications requested by the Chinese company there is an improved cryptographic layer, which apparently allows the chip to currently rank first in SiSoft Sandra’s cryptography tests.
China is already producing its own RAM modules and desktop / laptop CPU chips that are not far behind Intel’s and AMD’s models. Also in the works, there is a GPU that could rival Nvidia’s GTX models, and all this is happening because China is not willing to depend on technology imported from the U.S. anymore, given the current economic relations between the two states. The design of a top-tier cryptographic CPU layer suggests that China is not playing around when it comes to cybersecurity.
The Chinese Hygon C86 CPU is using the Dhyana X86 IP derived from AMD Zen 1 architecture. SiSoft Sandra recognizes it as part of a server rack commercialized in China by Sugon. Since it is mostly a replica of the original EPYC CPUs, it integrates 32 cores and 64 threads with 64 MB L3 cache running at 2.0 GHz base clocks. Now, SiSoft Sandra reports that the Chinese chip managed to churn through the cryptographic tests with a net bandwidth of 101.44 GB/s, but the test entry specifically mentions that the system used for the tests included a dual-chip configuration, so the single-chip speed is actually 50.57 GB/s.
Apparently this was only a proof-of-concept chip meant to test the cryptographic capabilities. GlobalFoundries has stopped producing Zen 1 since 2018, so Hygon will most likely look to collaborate with TSMC or new Chinese-based foundries for future designs.