No Zen 2 for you: AMD will not extend its x86 licensing agreement with Chinese consortium

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Back in 2016, AMD struck a $293 million (plus royalties) deal with a consortium known as Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co. (THATIC), which would see it license AMD’s x86 and SoC IP for developing chips that would be sold exclusively in China.

The deal gave China access to x86 technology, and in 2018, Chinese manufacturer Hygon started production on Dhyana x86 processors, which are said to be virtually identical to AMD’s EPYC CPUs, with the only difference being the unique vendor IDs and family series numbers.

Speaking to AMD boss Lisa Su, Tom’s Hardware reports that while the company will keep working with the THATIC joint venture (JV), it is “not discussing any additional technology transfers.” Su added that most of the work happened on the JV’s side.

"THATIC was a single-generation technology license, and there are no additional technology licenses," the CEO explained. This means that while THIATIC was given access to first-gen Zen microarchitecture, it will not be granted access to Zen 2.

Su did not give a reason why AMD wouldn’t be licensing its latest tech, though it could be related to the trade war between the US and China. Su previously said AMD would adhere to US regulations when asked about the company’s relationship with Huawei.

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MattS

TS Evangelist
I'm still unsure of what is trying to be conveyed from the title, If this is referring to no Zen 2 for China it should say so. The title is quite misleading. The title should be No Zen 2 for China.
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
AMD never had a licensing agreement beyond Zen's IP and even there it was only for the Epyc server stuff. This could be a result of the trade war, but it is most likely just a financial decision to not allow too many Chinese clones invade the server market now that AMD is looking at a big growth in that segment.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Sadly, China has been accused (and in some cases justifiably so ) of manipulating products made there with capabilities to "hack" the end user. It's nothing new, various countries including the US (look up Stingray) have been doing it for over a decade but now it's become public. It was one thing to use it within their own country to keep track of their own citizens but now they've started exporting it and are embarrassed about being caught. This has been a long term discussion on several of the National Security web sites and contrary to one EU member on here, it has been validated a number of times.
 

Misagt

TS Evangelist
I might be missing a few coffees, but what does this mean EXACTLY?
It means instead of licensing and developing their own chip inline with X86, they simply stole the current design and are going to mass sell it in China. AMD realized that they got suckered and will not be making any new deals with Zen 2.
 

Vrmithrax

TechSpot Paladin
I might be missing a few coffees, but what does this mean EXACTLY?
It means instead of licensing and developing their own chip inline with X86, they simply stole the current design and are going to mass sell it in China. AMD realized that they got suckered and will not be making any new deals with Zen 2.
AMD licensed the Zen 1 architecture. I seriously doubt they were ignorant enough to "get suckered" by the obvious result that chips would be built using that architecture. It was an expected outcome.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
I might be missing a few coffees, but what does this mean EXACTLY?
It means instead of licensing and developing their own chip inline with X86, they simply stole the current design and are going to mass sell it in China. AMD realized that they got suckered and will not be making any new deals with Zen 2.
That's not how licensing works. AMD allowed them to use their IP for their products. There was no transfer of IP and the instant AMD pulled out of this agreement they lost access to all that IP.

If you have proof that they actually stole something from AMD then present it, otherwise it's mere supposition.
 
As you know our blockade is perfect legal.
No, restricting Huawei from accessing a market is not a blockade. The restriction is more akin to a sanction or embargo, which are voluntary decisions to not trade with another country and are legal barriers to trade. For example, China has entire sectors of their economy blocked off from foreign investment.
A blockade, on the other hand, is using a country's military to prevent trade, supplies, materials, etc from entering into another country from any other sources. That is not a legal barrier to trade and is actually an act of war used during wartime.
 
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cldmstrsn

TS Addict
No, restricting Huawei from accessing a market is not a blockade. The restriction is more akin to a sanction or embargo, which are voluntary decisions to not trade with another country and are legal barriers to trade. For example, China has entire sectors of their economy blocked off from foreign investment.
A blockade, on the other hand, is using a country's military to prevent trade, supplies, materials, etc from entering into another country from any other sources. That is not a legal barrier to trade and is actually an act of war used during wartime.
dude..... chill hahaha. I should have put quotes on that. Its from Star Wars Episode 1.
 

Jezzper

TS Rookie
AMD know now that is was a VERY bad move to transfer the most sacred IP of Ryzen/EPYC to the Chinese government control companies ...it is too late now, the cat is out of the box....
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
AMD know now that is was a VERY bad move to transfer the most sacred IP of Ryzen/EPYC to the Chinese government control companies ...it is too late now, the cat is out of the box....
AMD allowed them to use their IP for their products. There was no transfer of IP and the instant AMD pulled out of this agreement they lost access to all future IP (Zen 2, Zen+).

If you have proof that they actually stole something from AMD then present it, otherwise it's mere supposition.
 
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Puiu

TS Evangelist
I might be missing a few coffees, but what does this mean EXACTLY?
It means instead of licensing and developing their own chip inline with X86, they simply stole the current design and are going to mass sell it in China. AMD realized that they got suckered and will not be making any new deals with Zen 2.
That's not how licensing works. AMD allowed them to use their IP for their products. There was no transfer of IP and the instant AMD pulled out of this agreement they lost access to all that IP.

If you have proof that they actually stole something from AMD then present it, otherwise it's mere supposition.
well, there seems to be some client side chips going around made in china which, according to rumors, are based on Zen. Mainstream consumer products should not have been part of the agreement and could actually be a big reason why AMD is pulling out (besides the normal political and financial reasons)
 

wizardB

TS Booster
It means they'll just steal the tech. You know the Chinese they have absolutely no respect for intellectual property. A slave economy run by Barbarians with no respect for the rule of law or even the lives of their own people.
 

hay fizzy

TS Rookie
This deal was signed before the launch of Ryzen. the Chinese probably got some high level silicon plans and thought Bulldozer +++. Better than nothing especially if we have a trade battle with the USA. We need to be seen to buy the IP overwise we are starting a tradewar. AMD are desperate we will speak to them otherwise we will need to get a licence from IBM or VIA. They are now thinking lets get Global Foudries, they are only worth 4-5 billion dollars and we would not have to import a single cpu ever again. The Chinese are now thinking we probably underpaid them as this is market leading technology and kicking themselves for not agreeing a multiple generation deal. these so called server laptops do overlap the consumer market so AMD are thinking enoughs enough we are on our way to beating Intel so we do not need anymore of these CPU IP deals. with the sale of GPU IP to Samsung AMD are thinking we are secure in our future.
 

XLR8DMadness

TS Rookie
AMD know now that is was a VERY bad move to transfer the most sacred IP of Ryzen/EPYC to the Chinese government control companies ...it is too late now, the cat is out of the box....
AMD allowed them to use their IP for their products. There was no transfer of IP and the instant AMD pulled out of this agreement they lost access to all that IP.

If you have proof that they actually stole something from AMD then present it, otherwise it's mere supposition.
You keep saying that AMD pulled out of the agreement. This did not happen. The article is simply stating that the agreement was only for first generation of Zen, and there won't be an agreement for anything after that. So THATIC can still produce chips using Zen.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
You keep saying that AMD pulled out of the agreement. This did not happen. The article is simply stating that the agreement was only for first generation of Zen, and there won't be an agreement for anything after that. So THATIC can still produce chips using Zen.
1st gen zen, they aren't licensing any new tech.
 
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