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Mysterious Huawei CPU test results emerge online and you’re in for a shock — if true, the improvements mean that Huawei is not far behind AMD Epyc or Intel Xeon

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Benchmark results for Huawei’s HiSilicon Taishan V120 server CPU have unexpectedly surfaced online, revealing a performance surprisingly on par with AMD’s Zen 3 cores from four years ago.

The results, found on Geekbench here and here, suggest that Huawei’s chip technology may not be far behind leading CPU manufacturers, AMD and Intel.

As Tom’s Hardware reports, the Taishan V120 core, from Huawei’s HiSilicon subsidiary, was first spotted in Huawei’s Kirin 9000s smartphone chip. The new Geekbench 6 results, which were uploaded a few days ago, indicate that the Taishan V120 core is likely manufactured on the second-generation 7nm node, as is the case with the Kirin 9000s chips.

Single core benchmarking

The exact CPU model tested remains a mystery however, with the only clue being “Huawei Cloud OpenStack Nova” on the benchmark pages. This suggests it could be a Kunpeng server CPU, possibly the Kunpeng 930, given its high single-core performance.

The Kunpeng 930 has been relatively elusive since its announcement in 2019. A 2021 report speculated a launch that year on TSMC’s 5nm, with the Kunpeng 950 following in 2023 on TSMC’s 3nm node. However, these plans were likely abandoned due to Huawei’s ban from manufacturing at TSMC.

The benchmarks were run on a single core, implying that the chip may have been tested on a virtual machine or a similar configuration. Therefore, the multi-core score may not accurately reflect the chip’s overall performance.

In the single-core score benchmark, the Taishan V120 CPU scored 1,527, slightly behind AMD’s Epyc 7413 at 1,538 and Intel’s Xeon E-2136 at 1,553. It was significantly outperformed by the Epyc 9554, which scored 1,957, and the Xeon w9-3495X, which led the pack with a score of 2,087.

As Tom’s Hardware points out, without data on multi-threaded performance, power consumption, and efficiency, it’s hard to gauge the competitiveness of Taishan V120 cores. Regardless of speed, high power consumption could deter potential users due to the cost of electricity.

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