Chinese joint venture with Via announces KX-5000 x86 SoCs

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,218   +884
Staff member

China’s semiconductor industry has picked up the pace, achieving double-digit growth last year. Part of this is due to the Chinese government pouring funds into the manufacture of ICs through the “National Integrated Circuit Industry Development Program.” It is through this program that Via Alliance Semiconductor has announced it has entered into a joint venture with Zhaoxin Semiconductor which will be producing an x86-64 SoC.

The KX-5000 CPU will come in four- and eight-core versions. According to Chinese tech website EEFocus, the chips will feature integrated graphics, HD video decoding, SATA and USB controllers, PCIe 3.0 interfaces and a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, all on a TSMC-made 28nm process. Zhaoxin says the chips will clock in at 2GHz.

EEFocus was not forthcoming with any other details but Tech Report notes that Via is known for designs focused on low-cost and power efficiency and expects the chip to perform similarly to Intel’s Atom cores.

The KX-5000 is only the first in a line of KX SoCs that Zhaoxin has planned. In the coming years, we can expect to see a KX-6000 and KX-7000. The 6000 will use essentially the same architecture as the 5000 but will be compressed onto a 16nm process. It is also looking to increase the clock speed to 3.0GHz and will support DDR4-3200 RAM.

The KX-7000’s forecast is understandably a bit vague since it is still a ways out but Zhaoxin hopes to have it 40 to 50 percent faster with a new architecture. It may also support PCI Express 4.0 and DDR5 and be contained on a 7nm process according to Weiwenku, another Chinese tech site. With the KX-7000, Zhaoxin aspires compete with AMD’s Zen processors.

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Posts: 506   +162
2/3GHz clock speeds seem rather low by the standards of the competition but then again they are obviously not after the high-end enthusiast markets.

Like others have suggested any competition in the x86/64 market has got to be a good thing through.


Posts: 21   +13
I ran across a couple benchmarks running Windows:
(post #36)
The 8 core 2Gh models are toward the bottom of the geekbench page.
I can't find any information on the S3 graphics they allegedly will come with, but they do promise SSE4.2, DX11 and hd playback.
Core for core they do look competitve with Atom, and they have twice as many cores. Paired with 4GB+ of ram and an SSD, they'd probably make a really decent HTPC.


Posts: 506   +162
"7nm process"

Well hat and a balloon if they manage to achieve a 7nm production process as I think Intel and AMD are still using 14nm process for current gen CPU.


Posts: 368   +166
Only for niche applications - if they are gonna run windows, will be terribly underpowered and have poor battery life. Just like in the fricking old days when they made their way into some UMPCs!