The first Zhaoxin x86 processors have hit the DIY retail channel in China. These Chinese processors are part of the country's goal to rely less on foreign technology. Zhaoxin is a partnership between the Chinese government and VIA Technologies. Some of you may still remember VIA from the early 2000s, the company used to compete with Intel and AMD but failed to keep up.
The chip we're talking about today is the Zhaoxin KaiXian KX-6780A, an eight-core x86-64 CPU with 8MB L2 cache, DDR4-3200 memory controller, and integrated DirectX 11.1 graphics.
The CPU cores are in-house designed LuJiaZui cores, built around a superscalar, multi-issue, out-of-order microarchitecture that supports modern instruction sets extensions like SSE 4.2 as well as AVX along with virtualization and encryption technologies. The processor is made using TSMC’s 16 nm process technology.
AnandTech has more information and is trying to get its hand on a chip to benchmark its performance. According to Zhaoxin, the Kaixian KX-6000, which was introduced in 2018, performs on-par with Intel’s 7th Generation Core i5 processor, a quad-core non-Hyper-Threaded CPU. The KX-6780A should be a higher-performing model.
This design will obviously not be as good in terms of performance and energy efficiency than Intel's and AMD's latest architectures, but it will be interesting to see how close (or far) the Chinese chip is.