Chinese tech giant Alibaba said on Tuesday it has developed a processor that will be used to power servers in its data centres. The development marks the latest foray into semiconductors for the company, mirroring moves from other global cloud computing players while also dovetailing with Chinese government’s priorities to boost the nation’s chip sector.
Alibaba is the largest cloud computing provider in China by market share and the third-largest globally, according to research firm Gartner.
Alibaba also said it has a developed proprietary line of servers, called Panjiu, and added that it will make the source code for its Xuantie series of IP cores — based on the RISC-V open source architecture — available to the public. Alibaba unveiled the Xuantie in 2019.
China’s government has long urged industry to invest in the domestic chip sector, which remains behind that of global counterparts.
The country remains reliant on overseas companies for much of its advanced semiconductors, a vulnerability brought forth when US sanctions against Huawei crippled that company’s booming smartphone business.
© Thomson Reuters 2021