Alibaba Cloud Introduces New Server Chips to Improve Cloud Services

Alibaba Cloud has introduced a new in-house processor design for usage in its data centers. The server chips, called Yitian 710, are custom-built by Alibaba Group’s chip development business, T-Head. Alibaba Cloud also announced the creation of its Panjiu proprietary servers, which are powered by these processors. The combination is expected to improve the company’s cloud services by boosting computing performance and lowering energy consumption.

Yitian 710 is built on advanced 5nm manufacturing technology and features 128 Arm cores with a 3.2GHz maximum clock speed for high performance and energy efficiency. There are 60 billion integrated transistors on each processing chip. According to Alibaba, the Yitian 710 is the first server CPU to support the newest Armv9 architecture, with 8 DD5 channels and 96 PCIe 5.0 lanes for high memory and I/O bandwidth.

“Customizing our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts toward boosting our computing capabilities with better performance and improved energy efficiency,” said Jeff Zhang, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence and Head of Alibaba DAMO Academy. “We plan to use the chips to support current and future businesses across the Alibaba Group ecosystem. We will also offer our clients next-generation computing services powered by the new chip-powered servers in the near future. Together with our global partners including Intel, Nvidia, AMD and Arm, we will continue to innovate our compute infrastructure and offer diverse computing services for our global customers.”

XuanTie IP Core Series

Photo Jeff Zhang, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.
“Customizing our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts toward boosting our computing capabilities with better performance and improved energy efficiency,” said Jeff Zhang, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

Panjiu is Alibaba Cloud’s cloud-native server infrastructure. These servers are designed for both general-purpose and specialized artificial intelligence (AI) computation, as well as high-performance storage, by separating processing and storage. These servers are intended to offer excellent economic value for a wide range of cloud-native workloads, including containerized applications and computationally optimized workloads, thanks to a modular design strategy for large-scale data center deployment.

Alibaba Cloud also stated that the source code for their XuanTie IP core series, as well as other future cores, will be made public. The XuanTie series are Alibaba’s custom-built processors based on RISC-V instruction-set architecture. Developers may now get the source code for the XuanTie series IP cores from Github and Open Chip Community to create their own prototype chips for IoT applications including networking, gateways, and edge servers. Additionally, XuanTie-related software stacks will be made available, which support a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Android, RTOS, and Alibaba’s own AliOS.

“By opening up the IP cores of our in-house IoT processors as well as related software stacks and development tools, we aim to assist global developers to build their own RISC-V-based chips in a much more cost-effective way,” added Mr. Zhang. “We hope this move can encourage more innovation among the thriving RISC-V software community, and as a result help people enjoy the benefits of a connected world in the digital era.”

New Data Centers South Korea and Thailand

Alibaba has also announced its plan to set up two new data centers in South Korea and Thailand to assist local enterprises in their digital innovation journey.

The Alibaba Cloud data center in Thailand will offer products and solutions that are in line with Thailand 4.0 – the Thai government’s 20-year strategy to promote digital innovation and the development of sustainable technologies.

“As one of the world’s top three cloud service providers, we are committed to bringing our world-class, hyper-scale cloud infrastructure to South Korea and Thailand, so that we can support local businesses to be at the forefront of digital transformation,” said Selina Yuan, General Manager of International Business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “With our business insight serving global customers in multiple key industries from retail to finance, logistics and manufacturing, we believe we can support local customers in South Korea and Thailand to meet their digitalization needs from both a technology and services perspective.”

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