Big credit to Patrick Kennedy from ServeTheHome for spotting this gem on the show floor, but it looks like if you want a Chinese branded EPYC CPU with some minor changes, it’s coming. Back in 2016, AMD and Hianjin Jaiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co. (THATIC) formed a joint venture (JV) to develop custom Zen-based processors just for the Chinese market. Within the JV, AMD would provide its Zen microarchitecture, whereas the rest of the SoC would be designed by the JV. AMD owns 49% of the company, while THATIC owns 51%. The first product out of that partnership is the Hugon Dhyana family of processors, and the first retailer with systems is Sugon.

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There are lots of questions surrounding exactly what these CPUs are. A Weibo user from China has published a screenshot allegedly taken on one of Hugon Dhyana-based machines which reveals that the eight-core Dhyana 3185 features 768 KB L1 cache, 4 MB L2 cache, and 16 MB L3 cache, the same configuration as AMD’s low-end eight-core EPYC processors. They look like EPYC processors, but with different cryptography engines inside the chip. Differences beyond that are unknown, but it still uses the same packaging and the same socket as EPYC. Now with a visual image, we can tell another key significant difference – while the carrier for Threadripper is orange, and for EPYC is blue, with Hygon CPUs it is red. This is very important.

Other details about the CPU were not present – we found the CPU in a system being developed by one of the JV OEM partners. We’re working with that partner to hopefully get a system in for testing.

Interestingly enough, we got the bottom right of the CPU translated. A literal translation is 

'Using Cores to Calculate The Future'

However, the second character used in the slogan is a homonym, which could be translated as:

'Using Passion to Calculate The Future'

For a Chinese CPU, the synergestic phrasing is very poetic.

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Note, if anyone from Sugon or Hygon wants to get in touch to talk about a review, please email our CPU editor Dr. Ian Cutress:

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  • Reflex - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    Who is fabbing these? TSMC?
  • Phynaz - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    Another reason to NOT support AMD

    They sell technology to enemies of the United States.
  • Azurael - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    I think the fact that the US government can use its hegemony to screw over companies it doesn't like or sees as international rivals to its own 'prestigious' brands (as we've seen with how they've treated Huawei via Google et al) is a very good reason to try to find substitutes for as much US-developed/supplied technology where possible, not just Google and AMD :-)
  • Tams80 - Friday, May 31, 2019 - link

    Huawei have been needing a good screwing over for their overly dirty tactics (the whole business is dirty to some degree, but Huawei have taken it to a new level), so they thoroughly deserve what is happening to them now.
  • Azurael - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    Well, feel free to enlighten me as to what exactly Huawei has been doing, since I'm not inclined to trust an ambiguous claim from a Five Eyes intelligence agency as an authoritative information source. How are those Cisco routers with the NSA backdoors doing?
  • sonny73n - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    To the Americans, everyone is enemy including their own. East vs West, North vs South. Not even animals live with so much hatred.
    AMD CEO is Lisa Su, not Lisa Smith. Many Chinese scientists have contributed to the US. Maybe the Chinese sell AMD the Zen architecture, not the other way around.
  • Alistair - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    You're confusing the Chinese regime (PRC) with the people. I'm sure Lisa Su dislikes the Chinese government just as much as most do.
  • quadibloc - Friday, May 31, 2019 - link

    The Zen architecture was developed in the U.S., and AMD has the paycheques of the engineers who designed it in the U.S. to prove it. Russia invaded Georgia and the Ukraine on flimsy pretexts, because those countries rejected being run by corrupt Putin cronies and were friently with the U.S.. Mainland China rules the Uighurs and the Tibetans with an iron fist; it's run by the same Communist Party that inflicted the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and Tienanmen Square on the Chinese people. Considering both of those governments as menaces to any nation wanting to remain free is not a sign of irrationality on the part of the United States.
  • Carmen00 - Friday, May 31, 2019 - link

    While you're talking about invading countries on flimsy pretexts, would you like to bring up Iraq and Afghanistan? And perhaps the engineering of anti-democratic coups around the world and support for dictatorships, while we're discussing oppression of people? Most of the world can legitimately consider the US to be a far bigger menace than China or Russia. China has done a heck of a lot more for my country than the US ever did. So maybe you want to get down off that high horse and stop pretending that the US stands for Freedom, or that there isn't a very good reason to not trust US-developed technology.

    But swinging this away from politics and back to technology, I think AMD's doing the sane thing here. It's not about east and west, it's about brainpower and expertise. A partnership with a Chinese entity can lead to technology advances that are just as significant as those from a partnership with a US entity. The days of the US being the unchallenged world leader in technology, graciously bestowing it upon others, have been over for a long time now!
  • intr0 - Monday, June 3, 2019 - link

    Just like Apple’s partnership with Chinese factories.

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