Innosilicon Fenghua 1: China's first server-grade GPU to feature GDDR6X VRAM and DirectX support
Chinese company Innosilicon first started out as a ASIC producer in the mid 2000s, then expanded into crypto mining in the early 2010s, currently also offering a wide array of IP solutions with enhanced performance and security features. In order to get access to diverse IPs, the company heavily invested in the development of the advanced production nodes at China’s SMIC foundries and among its latest ambitious projects we find the collaboration with GPU developer Xiandong on the production of a high-performance server GPU dubbed Fenghua 1 that is supposed to rival AMD’s and Nvidia’s models.
Unlike dedicated compute GPUs, the Fenghua 1 features video ports like HDMI 2.1, e-DP 1.4 and even the obsolete DVI, so it can be used as a workstation graphics card, as well. Innosilicon mentions that the GPU could act as a 4K desktop accelerator, as Fenghua 1 supports popular APIs such as OpenGL, OpenGLES, OpenCL, Vulkan and DirectX. The official announcement does not include any technical GPU specs or performance metrics, yet it does state that the Chinese GPU supports GDDR6X high-bandwidth video memory only available on Nvidia’s solutions, plus some other cutting-edge technologies, including Innosilicon’s Innolink chiplet and a patented physical unclonable function (PUF) encryption algorithm.
Additionally, Fenghua 1 features the PCIe 4.0 interface and is compatible with Linux, Android and Windows, offering support for data center-level multi-user application scenarios like cloud-based desktop and mobile games and 5G cloud rendering, plus AR / VR / AI workloads, metaverse etc. The Innosilicon announcement includes a multitude of buzzwords, but, without actual performance metrics, there is no way of knowing if Fenghua 1 is particularly proficient at any aforementioned use case. It may very well be used for crypto mining, too.