We don't share tech with China - AMD

Bradley Prior

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We don't share tech with China - AMD

AMD has released a statement strongly rejecting claims by the Wall Street Journal that it shared processor technology with Chinese-backed supercomputer manufacturer Sugon Information Industry.

Wall Street Journal reported that AMD developed a “complex structure” to bypass American rules, and claimed that both the US Commerce and Defense Departments raised concerns that the deal threatened US national security.
 

Swa

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Like all the other tech companies were bypassing the rules? LOL
 

Johnatan56

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That Wall Street journal article is nonsense, written by people who have absolutely no understanding of the semi-conductor industry.
I don't like linking wccftech as they usually just rehash stuff/post rumors, but this article is a good refute: https://wccftech.com/no-amd-did-not-sell-keys-kingdom-how-thatic-jv-works/

But of course, this did not fulfill China’s desire of calling the processor “homegrown” and that is where Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit Design Co., Ltd (aka HYGON) comes in. HYGON only had a minority AMD stake (30%) and was responsible for designing the top-level architecture for the Dhyana processors. Considering Dhyana processors are practically a replica of their EPYC counterparts and Linux users even managed to port EPYC code over to run on Dhyana indicates that this part of the JV was nothing more than an exercise in formality to declare the processor indigenous.

The pathway looked something like this:
  1. AMD US created a special IP for HMC, lets call it the Dhyana x86 IP, which was a single Zen Gen-1 core IP only capable of being produced at GlobalFoundries US (note: processor recipes are specific to foundries, you cannot use one recipe at another foundry without talent and resource extensive porting) that was modified to have proprietary US encryption tech removed and was slightly slower than its EPYC counterparts.
  2. This IP was handed off to HMC, still in AMD’s control.
  3. The sensitive layers (including RTL) in the IP were removed and licensed to HYGON to “design”.
  4. HYGON “designed” the top level of the processor and returned the IP to HMC for fabrication.
  5. HMC added back the critical blueprints and sent the design to GlobalFoundries for production.
  6. GlobalFoundries sent the fabricated chips (on its 14nm node) back to HMC. These are now as impervious to reverse engineering as any off-the-shelf EPYC or Xeon part.
  7. These finished chips were sold back to HYGON to package and assemble.
  8. The final “indigenous” HYGON processors are sold to the Chinese market and this includes the likes of SUGON.

Appearances matter a lot in this deal and if you look at it closely you will see that no IP ever actually exchanged hands. In fact, I would even hazard a guess that not much changed during the “designing” process at HYGON – the evidence betrays any such thought. The end result of this arrangement was that the US & AMD were happy and China was happy – at least back in 2015. With the new political environment, of course, the sensitivity to this deal has changed.
 
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