When it comes to smartphone processors, ARM enjoys the monopoly as most of the mobile processor designers like Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Qualcomm, and MediaTek use ARM cores. This might not be the case going forward, as Alibaba’s XT910 RISC-V Core (X standard for Xuantie which stands for a heavy sword made using iron) has shown a significant performance improvement.
During the Hot Chips 2020 conference, Alibaba showcased the performance of the XT910 RISC-V Core processor and it managed to outperform the Kirin 970 SoC, an ARM Cortex-A73 architecture-based flagship Huawei processor from 2017.
XT910 RISC-V Core Specifications
The XT910 RISC-V Core is a 16-core CPU processor with a peak CPU clock speed of 2.5GHz and is based on TSMCs 12nm node. It is a 64-bit processor with a base clock speed of 2.0GHz and does support RISC-V 0.7.1 Vector Extension.
Considering the 12nm fabrication, this technology is not as efficient as the modern 7nm processors based on the ARM cortex architecture and the company is likely to improvise the same in the upcoming days.
According to the comparison benchmarks posted by Alibaba, the processor outperforms Kirin 970 in almost every parameter. The brand has already confirmed that the XT910 RISC-V Core has already been deployed in Alibaba cloud and it can be used with the Wujian SoC platform.
According to the FAQs, Alibaba is planning to make this architecture an open-source on and it is already in talks with some of the entities that deal with the same.
As of now, there is no information if this architecture will come outside of China. Thought it might not be as powerful as the latest ARM Cortex architecture, for a technology that’s just a few years old, the XT910 RISC-V Core seems very impressive and ARM might soon have a competition, which is always good for the end consumers.
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