Monday, February 24th 2020

Ruijie RG-CT7800 Mini-PC Among First Zhaoxin KaiXian Designs, Tip of China's 3-5-2 Spear

With a 2.4-liter volume, a conventional black plastic body, and essential connectivity, the Ruijie RG-CT7800 may come across as a run-of-the-mill mini-PCs for small businesses or those who do precious little offline, except what's under the hood. This humble compact desktop is among the first design wins of China's ambitious effort at having an x86 processor built entirely on Chinese soil, the Zhaoxin KaiXian. This processor is making its way to products, and was recently pictured on an embedded motherboard. The KaiXian, along with the notebooks, motherboards, micro-servers, and mini-PCs that implement it, form the tip of China's 3-5-2 policy, an ambitious plan to rid all state- and state-owned institutions of "foreign hardware."

The numerals in "3-5-2" are supposed to correspond to foreign hardware replacement targets set by the country's Central Government - 30% by the end of 2020, an additional 50% by the end of 2021, and the remaining 20% by the end of 2022. To support this plan, the Chinese electronics industry, flush with state investment, has indigenized several key components of the modern PC, including DRAM, NAND flash, and now CPU. The country already dominates the global electronic components market. The RG-CT7800 implements The KaiXian KX-U6780A SoC that sports eight x64 CPU cores running at 2.70 GHz. Interestingly, the chip is manufactured on TSMC's 16 nm FinFET node (a de facto "foreign" source, but one that's de jure China from Beijing's perspective). Ruijie is equipping the RG-CT7800 with 8 GB of DDR4 memory, and 256 GB of SSD-based storage. One can make out industry-standard USB, Ethernet, 3.5 mm audio jacks, etc., from the pictures. The box will be compatible with UOS and NeoKylin (Linux distros built under scrutiny of the Chinese Government). With state institutions being on the clock to implement their 3-5-2 targets, it's possible that the first volumes of RG-CT7800 will be sold exclusively to state customers.
Source: Tom's Hardware
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11 Comments on Ruijie RG-CT7800 Mini-PC Among First Zhaoxin KaiXian Designs, Tip of China's 3-5-2 Spear

#1
silentbogo
Not too shabby. By the looks of it, it's sub-35W TDP chip, and performance-wise near an old 4c/8t Xeon D-seires (at least according to 1 available sample from passmark).
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#2
TheLostSwede
Except for the small fact that the original CPU design was done in Austin, Texas...
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#3
Flanker
Who are the target customers? I don't anyone in China that are interested in these.
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#4
XL-R8R
TheLostSwede
Except for the small fact that the original CPU design was done in Austin, Texas...
And some of the resistors and caps were probably made outside of China, too....




But, I doubt anyone reading this forum or using the machines in china will care, really. The is designed with the mindset towards the removal of Intel, AMD and NVIDIA from front-line Chinese systems (or infrastructure with other projects) and for that, it is perfect and does the job as intended.
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#5
silentbogo
TheLostSwede
Except for the small fact that the original CPU design was done in Austin, Texas...
...by a company fully owned by Taiwanese VIA Technologies.
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#6
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Flanker
Who are the target customers? I don't anyone in China that are interested in these.
As the article reads, state and state-owned institutions. I don't know about China, but here in India many government offices implement virtual desktops, and much of their applications are web-based. I guess for something that's essentially a thin client that spits out a VD, these boxes should do fine.

Even otherwise, much of public infrastructure (think the ticketing office at a railway station or a teller at a bank), should do just fine with these boxes.
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#7
silentbogo
btarunr
I guess for something that's essentially a thin client that spits out a VD, these boxes should do fine.
I'm sure it can do more than thin-client applications. As far as numbers go, think of it as super-efficient Bulldozer or inefficient Carrizo equivalent.
Newer chips have some benchmarks in passmark and openbenchmarking databases, and they look promising (also, it seems that Lenovo is involved, since there are some of their prototypes in those listings). Definitely a far-cry from Russian nearly non-existent Elbrus processors.
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#8
TheLostSwede
XL-R8R
And some of the resistors and caps were probably made outside of China, too....




But, I doubt anyone reading this forum or using the machines in china will care, really. The is designed with the mindset towards the removal of Intel, AMD and NVIDIA from front-line Chinese systems (or infrastructure with other projects) and for that, it is perfect and does the job as intended.
It was more about the irony of the situation, as Zhaoxin doesn't have access to the full CPU core design and can as such, not move this anywhere beyond what Centaur is giving them. I'm not even sure they could do a node shrink on their own in the future.
silentbogo
...by a company fully owned by Taiwanese VIA Technologies.
Taiwan ≠ China
ROC ≠ PRC

But yes, VIA seems to be more than happy to do business with the Chinese, but still, keep in mind what I mentioned above, Zhaoxin doesn't own the full chip design.
silentbogo
I'm sure it can do more than thin-client applications. As far as numbers go, think of it as super-efficient Bulldozer or inefficient Carrizo equivalent.
Newer chips have some benchmarks in passmark and openbenchmarking databases, and they look promising (also, it seems that Lenovo is involved, since there are some of their prototypes in those listings). Definitely a far-cry from Russian nearly non-existent Elbrus processors.
And most likely a lot better than Loongson due to x86 compatibility, so the Chinese government doesn't have to dump their Windows 7 licenses...
Posted on Reply
#9
silentbogo
TheLostSwede
Taiwan ≠ China
ROC ≠ PRC
It doesn't make much difference. Even if it was prototyped in Israel, I'm just counter-arguing your point about "American" design.
If they didn't have some sort of mutually-beneficial agreement with Taiwan, it would most likely be manufactured on a fresh 14nm FF or maybe 28nm at SMIC (though, in smaller quantities).
Posted on Reply
#10
TheLostSwede
silentbogo
It doesn't make much difference. Even if it was prototyped in Israel, I'm just counter-arguing your point about "American" design.
If they didn't have some sort of mutually-beneficial agreement with Taiwan, it would most likely be manufactured on a fresh 14nm FF or maybe 28nm at SMIC (though, in smaller quantities).
Wow, you clearly how no idea. The difference between Taiwan and China are massive. Please don't make blanket statements about situations that you have no idea about.

As for where the chip is designed, yes, it might not matter, it was more the irony of the whole situation I was pointing out.

VIA is only interested in making money, as it's part of the same family as HTC (HTC used to be a division of VIA in fact), FIC etc. with Cher Wang and her family at the helm (in case of VIA, her husband, FIC her sister).
And VIA obviously has relationships in Taiwan with regards to TSMC and getting the chips made, but it would seem that TSMC also listens a lot to the US, as they might be cutting supply to Huawei if the latest rumours are anything to go by.
Posted on Reply
#11
silentbogo
TheLostSwede
Wow, you clearly how no idea. The difference between Taiwan and China are massive. Please don't make blanket statements about situations that you have no idea about.
Apparently I'm not making myself clear, or someone can't read past 1st sentence.
My response was to your:
TheLostSwede
except for the small fact that the original CPU design was done in Austin, Texas...
All I am saying, is that the only relation this CPU has to US, is a contact address of one of involved subsidiaries.
"It doesn't make much difference" = "This information is irrelevant" "I don't know the difference between commies and non-commies".
TheLostSwede
it would seem that TSMC also listens a lot to the US, as they might be cutting supply to Huawei if the latest rumours are anything to go by.
You know, I've heard this since 2019, yet somehow TSMC still makes chips for Huawei, and the only TSMC public reply was "we do not comment on speculations".
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