Chinese tech giant Alibaba said on Tuesday that it has developed a processor that will be used to power the servers in its data centers. The development marks the company’s latest foray into semiconductors, mirroring moves by other global cloud computing players, while reconciling with the Chinese government’s priorities to boost the country’s chip sector.
According to research firm Gartner, Alibaba is the largest cloud computing provider in China by market share and the third largest globally.
Alibaba also said it has an evolving proprietary line of servers called Panjiu, and said it would make the source code for its Juanti series of IP cores – based on the RISC-V open source architecture – available to the public. Alibaba unveiled Xuanti in 2019.
China’s government has long urged the industry to invest in the domestic chip sector, which lags behind global counterparts.
The country relies on foreign companies for most of its advanced semiconductors, a vulnerability exposed when US sanctions against Huawei crippled that company’s thriving smartphone business.
© Thomson Reuters 2021