A new X86 CPU that's not Intel or AMD


I'd like to see the FC-1081, but knowing Via, (the partner in the joint-venture) they're even behind AMD, so it might be bulldozer quality for all I know.

I know it doesn't make much sense to want a Via when faster CPUs exist, but it's good to see a third party CPU. Pretty much all of the pre-zen pro AMD arguments can be made for Via, just replace "monopoly" with "duopoly".


Any new addition to the CPU market is good I feel, if it's decent enough I would put it in a pfsense or something low power just to help competition.

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Lenovo seems to be backing this with all their worth, so that's a nice boon to the adoption process. I'd love to see what a cluster can do considering there are servers being built with these CPUs in them. The laptop application is interesting since it looks like they're shooting at the low-power market with a thin-and-light plus a rugged (known for having little to no active cooling). I want to see where these go from here, if they branch internationally and hit it big with the budget sector of consumer electronics.

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X86 feels damn old at this point. I don't think there is a lot left in it. Software will get more optimised for MOAR COARS now and at some point ARM might be the next big thing.

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I thought Intel owned the patent/IP/whatever for x86 but due to some legal case they had to licence it to AMD too. If this is true I find it highly unlikely they would licence it to anyone else unless forced to.

From what little about ARM architecture I know it's going to take a series of miracles for it to ever be bigger than smartphones amd tablet uses.

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Wasn't there a server thing shown running 1000 cores or something? I remember something like that.

VIA was the third company allowed to make X86 stuff as far as I know. That is why that name pops up.

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ARM doesn't scale well above 10w. The only way it works on some servers is because imagine If you had a server CPU designed like an Intel Atom CPU, but with a lot of cores.

That's ARM servers, I doubt we'll ever see a Xeon-class ARM CPU with similar performance per core.

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VIA in actual products, nice. The CPU looks like the VIA Isaiah II uarch that there were some info about a couple of years ago. It was 28nm, this thing looks very similar. Four cores per die, MCM with two dies for an octa core.

Three years ago it was, back in 2014:

Benchmarks looked okay back then, at least against Intel Bay Trail and AMD Jaguar.

VIA was the third company allowed to make X86 stuff as far as I know. That is why that name pops up.

This was an interesting stroll down memory lane. I remember all of Intel's legal shenanigans, but I had forgotten about the outcome.

Intel, AMD and Cyrix were the big three x86 CPU suppliers back in the day. Interestingly, Wikipedia indicates that Cyrix was ultimately sold to VIA, via National Semiconductor and AMD purchased their assets. They were never a licensed x86 producer, as AMD was, but instead had reverse engineered Intel's work ... which is where their legal troubles (and their ultimate demise) began.

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Look at cars, they all still have four wheels and a steering wheel, just like 100 years ago :wink:

If there is no need to change it, why bother? The industry is just adding new features like AES-NI, AVX, etc. to make it do what they need. Being able to run older software too is much more useful than saving a few watts on hardware that isn't running off of battery power, like smartphones or tablets.

Well didn't the engineers say in the 50s that cars have evolved to a point that they can't become any more advanced? heh.
Also didn't the russians say a couple years ago that they're gonna start producing their own x86 chips?
But industrial is a whole different story than consumer anywho.

Because of the quasi monopoly situation we have on that architecture of course. Would not be up for some change if the only cars you could buy were from company A and company B? Hooray for AMD, sure. But still... The Via stuff is just more of the same, more dinosaur burners. We need new engines.

The problem is that you first need some resources to create a new architecture, that has to be better than x86, and then have the budget and resources to build the chips for it. But since there is nobody with the money to even compete with old technology (x86), I don't see this happening.

just to straight things up its x86 arch, but it does support 64bit.
Note details on those cpu's: x86 32/64 instructions compatibility, SSE4.2/AVX/AVX2.

-- they are ripped intel cpu's from 28nm arch.
likely they are overclocked atoms SoFIA chips.
(those intel atoms on 28nm were actually produced in china - so no wonder they've stolen the tech.)

-- just look at the homepage of company that was making those intel atoms in china (they make their own arm processors too - but logo is great)

Interesting. This seems to be pulling the "fuck your IP we are China" approach, where Intel can complain all they want but nothing will come of it because they do not hold power legally there. Like how apple had to bow to China over their patent woes and makes deals instead if straight suing them it think.

I wonder though as a result will these been seen commercially outside of China. Might not be legal for sale anywhere else.

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I am honestly quite surprised there are not more X86 and above CPU manufacturers, I guess it was only a matter of time before China got in on it seeing as they have such huge access to manufacturing, and experience in making chips for other companies.

I wonder if we will see reverse engineered chips cloning AMD and Intel stuff in the next 10 or 20 years, I would not be surprised and honestly would be quite happy, as it seems high class silicon is one of the only things tech companies still have a monopoly on due to lack of competition.

Because Intel sues anybody into oblivion that tries. The only way around it would be to only use expired patents and they're old. Also, x86 is mostly voodoo magic, even if a team of reverse engineers tried to figure out how it works in a clean room, by the time they reimplemented anything, their design would be obsolete.

So, the only way around it is to use old patents and go for a niche market that doesn't care about performance as much. The J-Core project is to reimplement the Hitachi SuperH CPUs and they're aiming for arduo territory right now, but when the Dreamcast becomes 20 years old, they're aiming for SuperH 4 and that would be embedded SBC territory where people won't have to pay for licensing for patents and have an open source CPU.

The only way I see this happening with x86 would be people designing a SBC Dosboard for industrial CNC machines and sell them to retro gamers because the Pentium Pros are being scrapped for gold and maybe go from there.

And indeed intel have been rumbling recently that they might fire up the lawyers once again if x86 emulation gets good enough to threaten them.

Intel are a nasty company once anyone gets close enough to be a threat. just look at the previous AMD anti trust in the early 2000's and the current outright shit slinging going on. So they will be all too happy to end anyone if x86 manages to get out.