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China tech

Huawei launches new data center chip amid US-China trade war

Telecom gear giant looks to avoid procurement problems with American makers

Huawei says its new Kunpeng 920 CPU provides a 25% performance boost compared with its peers.   © Reuters

SHENZHEN -- Huawei Technologies launched a new chipset on Monday for use in data centers. The chipset, jointly developed with U.K. semiconductor maker Arm Holdings, delivers improved performance and reduces power consumption.

Shenzhen-based Huawei wants to enhance its competitiveness by developing its own chipsets, key components in advanced electronics like computers and smartphones. It also hopes to stabilize chipset supply amid the simmering U.S.-China trade spat, which is not expected to end soon.

Huawei's Kunpeng 920 central processing unit features 25% better computing performance than its peers, and reduces power consumption by 30%. The company will use the new CPU in its own data centers and servers, and has no plans to sell it to others.

The Chinese telecom equipment maker has also developed a new server based around the CPU.

Huawei already has experience developing CPUs for its smartphones. The new chip has "unique advantages in performance and power consumption," said Chief Marketing Officer William Xu during a news conference on Monday at company headquarters. Huawei aims to "drive the development of the ARM ecosystem," in order to respond to the expansion of cloud services and big data, he added.

Chinese manufactures are having problems procuring chips, as the majority come from U.S. companies. China's ZTE was hit hard by a ban from buying chips from American suppliers in 2018.

The Chinese government aims to produce 70% of its own chips in the near future, up from the current 10% to 20%.

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