China's x86-chipmaker Zhaoxin launches homegrown servers with Chinese-made CPUs — partners with SuperCloud for domestically produced dual-socket KH-40000/32 designs key to country's self-sufficiency

SuperCloud's RS3210 Z11 server with Zhaoxin Kaisheng server CPUs.
(Image credit: Zhaoxin)

Zhaoxin's Kaisheng KH-40000/32 server CPUs are now available inside SuperCloud's dual-socket RS3210 Z11 server, which is the first server made domestically in China — a key capability for the country as it looks to sever its technological reliance from sanction-prone Western influences. The RS3210 Z11 features two 32-core KH-40000/32 chips built on the x86 instruction set architecture AMD and Intel use for its CPUs — Zhoaxin is one of the rare few with access to x86 licenses. Though this server might not be made completely in China, it's another important step towards technological autonomy.

The RS310 Z11 results from a partnership between Zhaoxin and SuperCloud (not to be confused with Supercloud based in Australia). The former designs x86 CPUs for both PCs and data centers, and the latter works in server and cloud infrastructure. Before the RS3210 Z11, Zhaoxin's Kaisheng CPUs didn't drop into any general-purpose servers, and SuperCloud has a history of making with Intel's Xeon CPUs. Now, the two Chinese firms are joining forces.

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RS3210 Z11 Specifications
CPUZhaoxin Kaisheng KH-40000/32
Memory Slots32
Maximum Memory Capacity4TB
PCIe Version3.0
PCIe Slots6
Power Supply1,600W
Operating SystemUOS

The star of the RS3210 Z11 is the 32-core Kaisheng KH-40000/32 CPU that resides inside. We've seen the performance of the KH-40000/12 and KH-40000/16, which are the 12-core and 16-core versions, and they weren't all that impressive. Even with 32 cores, the KH-40000/32, at best, might be on par with the Core i9-12900K in multi-threaded workloads, and well behind in anything single-threaded.

However, the KH-40000/32 is certainly one of China's fastest native-made CPUs, and it's based on the x86 architecture. This allows Zhaoxin's server CPU to run x86 software natively and without a translation layer, which ARM-based CPUs must rely on to run x86 programs. By default, the RS3210 Z11 runs the Unity Operating System, a Linux distro also made natively in China.

The rest of the server is a bit of a mixed bag. The motherboard has 32 slots for RAM, which, in theory, should mean the RS3210 Z11 can support up to 4TB of memory, and also sports six PCIe slots. However, it uses older DDR4 rather than DDR5 and PCIe 3.0 instead of 4.0 or 5.0, which is what the latest AMD, Intel, and ARM server chips support.

Although this is by no means a cutting-edge server, the RS3210 Z11 represents a major milestone in China's technological autonomy. It's unclear if every component in the RS3210 Z11 is made in China, but the CPU (perhaps the most crucial part) is, and the server is presumably assembled in China, too.

At this point, there's very little China can't at least make on its own. Users of the RS3210 Z11 could even plug in Chinese-made data center graphics cards from Moore Threads, which recently launched its AI-focused S4000. However, it will probably be a while before China's natively produced tech products are at the cutting edge. Being on the cutting edge, or even making commercially viable products, isn't as important to China — the country views self-sufficiency as a matter of national security, so projects like this are destined to succeed in at least some form. 

Matthew Connatser

Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.

  • artk2219
    I'm sure it'll perform about as well as a dual socket LGA 2011 server, DDR4 makes sense since its not exactly like its a performance monster and theres plenty of it available. Its a good first step for self sufficiency, which isn't unexpected given the way things have been the last few years. They may even have something relatively decent in the next 5 to 10 years.
  • das_stig
    TH keep going on about how this is not cutting edge tech an not in the same league as Intel/AMD, are they getting paid by western chips giants to put down Chinese efforts??

    The Chinese kit doesn't have to be cutting edge but good enough to do the job, so what if it takes 1 extra second to calculate, they do what the Chinese do best, make the things cheaper using state money and bigger to offset, result is less reliance on the west while the west scurry to withdraw from cheap Chinese manufacturing to cheap India or Vietnamese labour but this takes time and private money.