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Intel SVP in China: Chinese Chipmakers Could Become Strong Rivals by 2025 (Updated)

Phytium
(Image credit: Phytium)

Update 4/16/2022 7:45am PT: Corrected article to clarify Intel's statements and specify that the comments did not occur at a political event. 

Amended article: 

Some interesting comments made by an Intel senior executive in China have come to light. According to a report from Taiwan's DigiTimes, an Intel exec said that Chinese CPU makers could become "strong rivals" in the next three to five years. Rui Wang, SVP of Intel Corporation and chair of Intel China, made the comments to Guancha.cn, a Chinese media outlet.

"So far there has not been any local companies that are able to deal a substantial threat to Intel," stated the Intel SVP. "But in 3-5 years, it will become clear that local companies will emerge as strong rivals," envisioned Ms. Wang (as translated by DigiTimes). Having said this, Wang went a little distance to temper expectations that US tech giant Intel would easily be displaced, dislodged, or usurped as the CPU leader in China. "Intel won't be polite, and will exert its power to compete fairly."

Chinese Companies With Intel in Their Sights

Unfortunately, Intel China's Chair wasn't specific about the avenue from which Intel's business in China would be assaulted. No specific Chinese CPU or IT company was highlighted, and no mention was made of any specific architecture with a chance at becoming an Intel competitor.

China has quite a wide range of CPU design outfits that could potentially surprise us in the next three to five years. We have previously and recently reported on the successes of China-made Zhaoxin CPUs. One of these LuJiaZui microarchitecture quad-core chips features in what looks like a China-only version of the Yoga Slim 7i laptop, dubbed the Lenovo Kaitian N7. The immature architecture combined with a custom China OS means that the N7 isn't a great performer, however, and it looks like it has issues with waste heat and battery life.

We have also posted news in recent months discussing Chinese chip advances by the likes of Loongson (MIPS based), Sunway (supercomputers), and Hygon (AMD Zen 1 based, under license). China also has at least a couple of firms building processors on the Arm architecture. Huawei's HiSilicon and Phytium Technology are the two best know Arm architecture proponents in China. Phytium has a particularly wide portfolio with products for the server, workstation, and embedded markets, as well as five new high performance CPUs penciled in for the coming months.

(Image credit: CnTechPost)

China has homegrown GPUs and DDR4 (currently planning DDR5 production) too, and hopes to make its semiconductor foundries, especially the state backed SMIC, more competitive in the not-too-distant future.

Some other important data with which to frame the above news includes a recent statement by Xiao Yaqing, China's Minister of Information and Technology. Just ahead of the National Party Congress, Yaqing asserted that the domestic chip industry had grown by a third compared to a year ago.

Mark Tyson
Mark Tyson

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • Historical Fidelity
    I wonder how much of China catching up to Intel is due to intellectual property theft vs genuine research and development
    Reply
  • Kamen Rider Blade
    Historical Fidelity said:
    I wonder how much of China catching up to Intel is due to intellectual property theft vs genuine research and development
    99.99% IP Theft
    Reply
  • kjfatl
    It starts out as 99% theft. They use this to train their engineers. They then begin underbidding on development projects, offering to do the engineering for free. The US/European firms then shut down their engineering organizations and are no longer capable of developing products. We are at the point were there is no US manufacturer of consumer PC motherboards. I know much of this is being done in Taiwan. If you are a business leader you are foolish if you do not expect China to have a war with Taiwan in the next few years. Trump started the move of some of these companies back to the US and Biden is headed in the same direction. Hopefully the new fabs being built by Intel, Global Foundries, and TSMC are online before China takes over Taiwan.
    Reply
  • Kazuoari
    Historical Fidelity said:
    I wonder how much of China catching up to Intel is due to intellectual property theft vs genuine research and development

    96% genuine R&D in x86 processor development

    While,

    100% genuine R&D in ARM, MIPS, RISC-V and custom made cpu development.
    Reply
  • Geef
    What did they steal this time?!? :rolleyes:
    Reply
  • wbfox
    Kazuoari said:
    96% genuine R&D in x86 processor development

    While,

    100% genuine R&D in ARM, MIPS, RISC-V and custom made cpu development.
    Thats the funniest thing I've read all day. Thanks.
    Reply
  • wbfox
    Historical Fidelity said:
    I wonder how much of China catching up to Intel is due to intellectual property theft vs genuine research and development
    51% is stolen. Why 51%? Because the deal the Chinese made with companies like Intel, AMD, IBM, and every other tech company who's greed blinded them to the lie of, "the chinese consumer market" being theirs to plunder , is that the Chinese entities/people/Communist Party/PLA/etc.. would only have 49% of the controlling stake. So they legally got 49% when Intel, ARM, NVIDIA, AMD and all the rest signed on the dotted line, and the rest they just stole. Their new server chips, the Hygon? Straight up AMD Epyc. ARM China? Ask Softbank what their majority control got them, lol. Their GPUs aren't anything like NVIDIA GPUs...wink....lol.
    Reply
  • Kazuoari
    wbfox said:
    51% is stolen. Why 51%? Because the deal the Chinese made with companies like Intel, AMD, IBM, and every other tech company who's greed blinded them to the lie of, "the chinese consumer market" being theirs to plunder , is that the Chinese entities/people/Communist Party/PLA/etc.. would only have 49% of the controlling stake. So they legally got 49% when Intel, ARM, NVIDIA, AMD and all the rest signed on the dotted line, and the rest they just stole. Their new server chips, the Hygon? Straight up AMD Epyc. ARM China? Ask Softbank what their majority control got them, lol. Their GPUs aren't anything like NVIDIA GPUs...wink....lol.

    Nice fairy tale story. You should publish one. There could be some people interested in reading it.

    And what is the problem if Hygon's chip is straight up AMD Epyc? Do you know that Hygon is a JV between AMD and a Chinese based partner to design AMD based chip for Chinese Market? Clearly you didn't know this. Technically AMD is involved in the direction of the company.

    "Their GPUs aren't anything like NVIDIA"

    And that's the proof Chinese didn't steal a tech. <MOD EDIT PERSONAL ATTACK REMOVED>
    Reply