Phytium presents D2000 ARM-based octa-core desktop CPU for the Chinese market
ARM is clearly dominating the smartphone SoC scene with its Cortex cores, but the company is quickly gaining traction in the desktop and laptop world too, as of late. The Windows on ARM project from a few years ago was just the beginning, and, even though it was not that successful, it really helped propel ARM’s name as a decent alternative for the x86 architecture proliferated by Intel and AMD. Apple recently demonstrated that ARM’s cores can be a force to be reckoned with in the M1 processors for the MacBook lineup, while Microsoft and Amazon have also tried their hands at ARM-based custom processors for laptops and tablets. Of course, China could not have passed the opportunity to build ARM-based processors, what with the U.S. trade wars and its efforts to reduce reliance on U.S. tech. Last year, Phytium was the first to introduce a quad-core ARM-based desktop PC processor for the Chinese market, and now the company is upping the ante with an octa-core model designed for mini PCs, as well as for more complex full-tower systems.
The new Phytium D2000 processors use the same custom 64-bit ARMv8-compatible FTC663 cores integrated in last year’s FeiTeng-2000/4 model, except now there are 4x 2-core clusters instead of 2. Each of these clusters shares a unified 2 MB L2 cache and 1 MB L3 cache (8 MB of L2 cache and 4 MB L3 cache in total). This architecture features a four-issue out-of-order pipeline combined with Phytium’s latest dynamic branch predictor and INT / FP units supporting ARM’s ASIMD instructions. There is also support for SM2 / SM3 / SM4 / SM9 cryptography algorithms and the proprietary PSPA 1.0 security platform.
As far as hardware specs go, the D2000 is not really a match for the latest Intel and AMD chips, as it is built on China’s own 14 nm nodes. Still, it features all the standard features you would expect from an entry-level CPU, including 128-bit DDR4-3200 / LPDDR4 RAM support, 34 PCIe 3.0 lanes that can be split into four PCIe 3.0 x8 slots and two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots, plus 2x GbE NiCs, 32 GPIO lanes, and an integrated audio codec. There is no iGPU, however. Core clock speeds will be set between 2.3 - 2.6 GHz, with a 25 W TDP, and the processor scores 97.45 points in the SPECint test.
Phytium is currently rolling out the D2000 chips to Chinese PC OEMs, and the first systems featuring the new processors are expected to hit the market in late Q1 2021.