During the launch event of new products on November 27th, Guizhou Huaxintong announced the mass production launch of StarDragon 4800, the processor chipset for data center servers. Taking place in the China National Convention Center in Beijing, the event was attended by top officials of China and participants from Qualcomm America and Samsung Electronics Foundry.
In January 2016, Guizhou of China and Qualcomm America created Guizhou Huaxintong Semiconductor Technologies of China with their respective ownership of 55% and 45%. The signing for the establishment of the joint corporation was also held in the National Convention Center. At the signing event, Min-Earl Chun(陈敏尔, Current Chongqing City Clerk), then Clerk of Guizhou Committee, was present. Clerk Chun is an influential politician who is expected to run as one of the candidates for the next state president.
People’s Daily, an official newspaper of the Communist Party, mentioned the establishment of Huaxintong on the front page headline of its paper on May 12, 2016 and said that “Until 2020, there will be 2.5 million servers as private companies like Foxconn and Huawei and mobile telecom businesses such as China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom are entering Guian New Area.
According to Huaxintong, 48 cores of ARMv8 Architecture will be loaded on StarDragon 4800. It is 400㎟ wide and has 18 billion transistors. The process of 10 nanometers (nm) is used for production. Huaxintong said that “StarDragon 4800 presents the high level of localized chipset design techniques for server” and that “they can compete with the mainstream products in the United States market.”
The specifications of Huaxintong StarDragon 4800 are similar to Centriq 2400, the world’s first 10 nm server processor chipset, which was launched for mass production in November by Qualcomm. At that time, Anand Chandrasekher, the vice president of Qualcomm Data Center Technology, announced that “It took more than 4 years to design and develop the product and to create the ecosystem.”
It is likely that StarDragon 4800 will be produced at Samsung Foundry Business Division. There are only three places where 10 nm mass production is possible: TSMC in Taiwan, Samsung Electronics, and Intel. It is unlikely that Intel with existing dominance in the server processor market would produce a competitor’s products, and Intel has postponed 10nm production. The main production of Taiwan TSMC is not 10nm production and they are focusing on 7nm production.
Samsung Electronics is the main production partner of Qualcomm and used 10nm production for Snapdragon 835 and 845, the mobile processors (AP), and Centric 2400.