NewsCompany newsIndustry News

2019

07/22

Starting from Mac core change, the application prospect analysis of domestic ARM architecture chip

Japan's influence on Korea's export control of semiconductor materials has affected the transaction prices of products. In terms of DRAM memory, which has a high share of Korean companies, prices have risen by nearly 10% in the past two weeks. Forecasts that export controls will lead to temporary stagnation of supply have surfaced. On the one hand, DRAM demand itself is still weak. Relevant views on trade control are affecting the circulation market.

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It's never easy to replace the underlying chip architecture for a computer product with such a huge shipment. This requires reconstructing the entire software ecosystem. The most difficult thing is that the reconstructed results can't affect developers and users, which is equivalent to chassis and launch for a fast-moving racing car. The replacement of the aircraft is not yet perceived by the driver and passengers.




We can refer to Apple's efforts in 2005 to shift the Mac product line to Intel CPUs. In fact, when Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he was dissatisfied with Motorola's chips. He began to evaluate the possibility of core change that year, strong as Jobs, and had to accept that the board needed to discuss it for 18 months. He formally started turning the chips to Intel eight years later, after all the preparations were made in 2005.




The reason why Apple's board needed to discuss for 18 months was that the core change involved the restructuring of the ecosystem chain, which could pose a huge risk to the apples that had struggled to revive at that time; the reason why it took nearly eight years for Apple to officially complete the core change was that the whole process was equivalent to the redevelopment of Apple's operating system. Once again, the transition from compiler to operating system design to application migration for chip development with two different architectures requires too much work.




This time, Apple introduced the chief architect of ARM in order to realize a plan that Apple launched a few years ago: replacing the current chip with processor based on ARM architecture as early as 2020. Look, as if the core-changing strategy was repeated in 2005, in order to change the chip from Intel's X86 architecture to self-developed ARM architecture, Apple has been preparing for years, waiting for the time to come. As a practitioner of IT localization industry, I saw the dawn of IT localization from the Mac core change event. The reason why Apple's core change this time will have a positive impact on IT localization lies in the chip that Apple will use this time - ARM architecture chip.




As we all know, the PC market is dominated by the WinTel alliance of Windows and Intel, and the mobile phone market is dominated by Android and iOS operating systems and ARM chips. Because of the closure of Windows and Intel, PC and server must bypass these two mountains to achieve full autonomy and control. Operating system is relatively easy. It is not difficult to customize an operating system according to the characteristics of domestic users based on open source Linux. The difficulty lies mainly in chips. It can be said that creating an ecosystem based on domestic chips is the key to realize the localization of IT.




On the other hand, mobile phones are no longer subject to the same restrictions on operating systems and chips as the PC industry. For example, the Haise chip designed by Huawei has been widely used in Huawei mobile phones, and its performance and experience are no less than the top level of the industry. Since the chip localization in the field of mobile phones has developed so well, can it be used in the field of PC and server? The answer is yes, in fact, domestic manufacturers have been trying to do this. Hess chips are based on ARM architecture. The authorization of ARM architecture is not so closed compared with X86 architecture. Domestic companies such as Feixiang and Huawei have been permanently authorized by some architecture of ARM.




Domestic PCs and servers use chips based on ARM architecture to achieve the goal of self-control. The difficulty is not sustainability, nor performance, but the key is the construction of ecological chain. Because of the maturity of WinTel Alliance, most of today's software ecology is based on WinTel, from daily office, teaching design to enterprise application release. In order to build a localized ecosystem, besides building the whole ecosystem from scratch based on ARM architecture, we also need to consider the smooth migration of existing business. IT localization practitioners have been working hard, but progress has been slow.



As Apple's Mac products will be transferred to the ARM architecture ecosystem, the recognition of ARM architecture products will be higher. More talents will be attracted to this ecosystem, which has far-reaching significance for the maturity of the ARM architecture ecosystem. As a mature commercial company, Apple will fully consider the existing business from X. The migration of 86 architecture to ARM architecture can achieve the effect of friendly migration to developers and users, which is also of great significance to domestic manufacturers.

Over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, China has made remarkable achievements. For example, China has the most complete industrial production chain and the fastest-growing infrastructure. However, the IT industry has been constrained by others and can not be completely controlled by itself. A large number of IT localization practitioners have been working hard, they have accumulated momentum, upright, waiting, has been silently dedicated to the cause of localization.




Now, the time has come for them to wait, and a wave of nationalization has come. In fact, IT's localized ecological environment construction has made some achievements. We have achieved a lot in chip design and manufacturing, operating system, database, middleware, business applications, virtualization and cloud computing technology. In terms of domestic operating system, there are already mature products and solutions such as Kirin, Milky Way Kirin, Deep OS, etc. which have won the bid; in terms of database, domestic Dream, Shentong, etc., have been widely used in some fields; in terms of middleware, Dongfang Tong, Zhongchuang, etc., are also mature; in terms of cloud computing and virtualization, they are the main players. Huawei, Alibaba and Tencent also have the corresponding domestic cloud platform solutions for Yunhong CNware products. The above mentioned operating systems, databases, middleware, virtualization and cloud platforms have been able to form a good ecosystem with domestic ARM architecture chips.




Apple core change shows that IT ecological chain migration needs long preparation, and that it is not so difficult as to set clear goals and let go. The pioneers have accumulated a lot of experience in the construction of domestic ARM ecological chain. Apple's core change also proves the feasibility of the road from the side. Domestic ARM architecture servers and PC applications are promising.




ARM architecture chip is a typical RISC chip. Its main feature is low power consumption. It is very suitable for application in areas where performance requirements are not high, but energy sensitivity is high. This is why ARM architecture chip can beat Intel chip in mobile field. Now the very hot edge calculation just accords with this characteristic, and the performance requirements are not very strong, but it needs low power consumption. Perhaps when our ecosystem chain based on ARM architecture chip is improved, our country's edge computing will also erupt and overtake in IT development.