Alibaba’s Pingtouge launches own processor, aiming to be a chip infrastructure provider for AI and IoT

The Chinese government hopes companies can develop homegrown core technologies.

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Alibaba’s Pingtouge launches own processor, aiming to be a chip infrastructure provider for AI and IoT

Alibaba’s chip subsidiary Pingtouge unveiled on Thursday its first processor, the XuanTie 910, which can be used in applications for sectors including 5G, artificial intelligence, and autonomous driving, according to a press release by Alibaba.

Pingtouge also stated that the new processor could lower the costs of related chip production by more than 50%.

The company indicated that the XuanTie 910 is soon expected to be available for commercial sale, although the price range was not revealed.

The 16-core processor is built on the RISC-V structure, a free and open hardware instruction set architecture (ISA).

Alibaba’s affiliate company claims that its first product is currently the most high-performance RISC-V processor in the market.

Pintouge aims to become an affordable chip infrastructure provider for the artificial intelligence and Internet of Things sectors, according to Qi Xiaoning, vice president of Alibaba Group.

The Alibaba subsidiary, which translates to honey badger, was announced last September, amid the Chinese government’s appeal to develop homegrown core technologies.

Alibaba, which acquired a Chinese chipmaker called C-SKY Microsystems in April 2018, is also the backer for other chip companies including China-based Cambricon, Kneron, ASR, and DeePhi, as well as California-based Barefoot Networks.