Monday, April 5th 2021

Tianshu Zhixin Big Island GPU is a 37 TeraFLOP FP32 Computing Monster

Tianshu Zhixin, a Chinese startup company dedicated to designing advanced processors for accelerating various kinds of tasks, has officially entered the production of its latest GPGPU design. Called "Big Island" GPU, it is the company's entry into the GPU market, currently dominated by AMD, NVIDIA, and soon Intel. So what is so special about Tianshu Zhixin's Big Island GPU, making it so important? Firstly, it represents China's attempt of independence from the outside processor suppliers, ensuring maximum security at all times. Secondly, it is an interesting feat to enter a market that is controlled by big players and attempt to grab a piece of that cake. To be successful, the GPU needs to represent a great design.

And great it is, at least on paper. The specifications list that Big Island is currently being manufactured on TSMC's 7 nm node using CoWoS packaging technology, enabling the die to feature over 24 billion transistors. When it comes to performance, the company claims that the GPU is capable of crunching 37 TeraFLOPs of single-precision FP32 data. At FP16/BF16 half-precision, the chip is capable of outputting 147 TeraFLOPs. When it comes to integer performance, it can achieve 317, 147, and 295 TOPS in INT32, INT16, and IN8 respectively. There is no data on double-precision floating-point numbers, so the chip is optimized for single-precision workloads. There is also 32 GB of HBM2 memory present, and it has 1.2 TB of bandwidth. If we compare the chip to the competing offers like NVIDIA A100 or AMD MI100, the new Big Island GPU outperforms both at single-precision FP32 compute tasks, for which it is designed.
Tianshu Zhixin Big Island Tianshu Zhixin Big Island Tianshu Zhixin Big Island Tianshu Zhixin Big Island
Pictures of possible solutions follow.

Tianshu Zhixin Big Island Tianshu Zhixin Big Island
Source: via VideoCardz
Add your own comment

41 Comments on Tianshu Zhixin Big Island GPU is a 37 TeraFLOP FP32 Computing Monster

#1
ZoneDymo
ill allow it, now gimmi a gaming card
Posted on Reply
#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
NGL, if a Chinese company is able to come up with even a GTX 1660S-level gaming GPU right now, and is able to mass-produce them outside the TSMC/Samsung cluster****, then NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel are collectively screwed.
Posted on Reply
#3
TangoVictor
Interesting... the picture of "running" system from Inspur is MX1, which runs eight NVIDIA SXM4 cards, not Tianshu PCI cards. Tianshu Zhixin comes from the same people that licensed AMD technology for previous CPU and GPU designs. Very valuable design exercise, and what makes this announcement special is that this is the first time we're seeing a licensed design that actually outperforms the original GPU design.

This is Big Navi on "stereoids", and whatever limitation AMD placed in the design (check the licensed Chinese EPYC v1 CPU vs AMD EPYC 7xx1 CPU), is gone. This is a very high performing part.
Posted on Reply
#4
Kohl Baas
btarunr
NGL, if a Chinese company is able to come up with even a GTX 1660S-level gaming GPU right now, and is able to mass-produce them outside the TSMC/Samsung cluster****, then NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel are collectively screwed.
Unles they'll get banned or just taxed the hell out of them... Imagine having large quantities of GTX1660S levels of cards at a pice of a scalped RTX3090...
Posted on Reply
#5
Prima.Vera
Why do I smell big time Vaporware....
This was done before in the 90's with companies like Tseng Labs, Rendition, Number Nine, 3D Labs, etc.... They all promised the Moon and delivered...well...
Posted on Reply
#6
ixi
TMSC flowing in money while we are suffering withour gpu's...
Posted on Reply
#7
_UV_
Prima.Vera
Why do I smell big time Vaporware....
This was done before in the 90's with companies like Tseng Labs, Rendition, Number Nine, 3D Labs, etc.... They all promised the Moon and delivered...well...
Tseng and Rendition was on par or a bit better at something like other companies, comparable to S3 or ATI, with same driver "quality" if we talking about Virge or Rage. #9 done a great job of making own chips like Matrox and being like Diamond later on. 3D Labs also made great products for the time, just a bit too late to market if we talk about Permedia, professional products was near perfect in their price category until nVidia take this market seriously.
Posted on Reply
#8
Vayra86
btarunr
NGL, if a Chinese company is able to come up with even a GTX 1660S-level gaming GPU right now, and is able to mass-produce them outside the TSMC/Samsung cluster****, then NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel are collectively screwed.
Maybe they will get serious again and stop that silly RT focus. Fingers crossed.
Prima.Vera
Why do I smell big time Vaporware....
This was done before in the 90's with companies like Tseng Labs, Rendition, Number Nine, 3D Labs, etc.... They all promised the Moon and delivered...well...
In a tight market even a slightly less perfornant chip will sell.

The problem is software. I reckon some battles shall be fought there. Lots of ban hammers can be swung...

The hardware... They will make it. We already saw some low end Zen ripoffs.
Posted on Reply
#9
Caring1
It was obvious they copied AMD as even the "Big Island" moniker is a rip off of AMD's islands naming scheme.
Time will tell how good these are, but it's clear China is pretty good at building big islands. ;)
Posted on Reply
#10
TumbleGeorge
LoL fuck&antifuck in action? Which is the best? I think China grow up is useful because concurrency increased technology evolution. Not matter who's "enemy" important is to be strong!
Posted on Reply
#11
sepheronx
If its a good price, decent performance and available, then it is all good.
Posted on Reply
#12
tygrus
Who's design & IP have they copied? Sure, they could have done several years of their own development but what did they start with? AMD used a series of big islands including Hawaii. Makes me want to look deeper.
Posted on Reply
#13
DeathtoGnomes
I'm guessing they hope to capitalize in the mining market more than gaming. :D
Posted on Reply
#14
Zareek
Vayra86
The hardware... They will make it. We already saw some low end Zen ripoffs.
I'm not sure that counts, they worked with AMD to make those Zen rip-offs. If I recall correctly their home-grown CPU attempt when tested was basically the 2010 VIA Nano design expanded to eight cores.

I will believe the performance claims when they are independently tested. I hope they are excellent at mining and really cheap. Then the miners will leave the video cards to gamers.
Posted on Reply
#15
sepheronx
Zareek
I'm not sure that counts, they worked with AMD to make those Zen rip-offs. If I recall correctly their home-grown CPU attempt when tested was basically the 2010 VIA Nano design expanded to eight cores.

I will believe the performance claims when they are independently tested. I hope they are excellent at mining and really cheap. Then the miners will leave the video cards to gamers.
I hope it is good at both and we have an alternative. As well I am still patiently waiting for Intel's GPU.
Posted on Reply
#16
Metroid
Today is 5th of april, not 1st of april, I hope this is not a 1st april joke.
Posted on Reply
#17
mechtech
Another company using TSMC 7nm. I would assume that will decrease everyone else % of the node.

Pretty amazing how they could pull something like that out of their hat so fast!!?!?!?!
Posted on Reply
#18
Zareek
sepheronx
I hope it is good at both and we have an alternative. As well I am still patiently waiting for Intel's GPU.
I'm guessing it won't be so competitive in the gaming space. It would be really nice to see some more competition, but they don't make a single mention in the release about fill rates or frame rates for games. Then think about the drivers, how absolutely horrible the drivers will probably be. You never know, but I'm not holding my breath.
Posted on Reply
#19
XiGMAKiD
They need to follow Chinese smartphone stategy, mainstream market first then high end
Posted on Reply
#20
Mescalamba
XiGMAKiD
They need to follow Chinese smartphone stategy, mainstream market first then high end
More money in "pro" sphere with GPU than in market for gamers. Even more in mining.
Posted on Reply
#21
TheoneandonlyMrK
TangoVictor
Interesting... the picture of "running" system from Inspur is MX1, which runs eight NVIDIA SXM4 cards, not Tianshu PCI cards. Tianshu Zhixin comes from the same people that licensed AMD technology for previous CPU and GPU designs. Very valuable design exercise, and what makes this announcement special is that this is the first time we're seeing a licensed design that actually outperforms the original GPU design.

This is Big Navi on "stereoids", and whatever limitation AMD placed in the design (check the licensed Chinese EPYC v1 CPU vs AMD EPYC 7xx1 CPU), is gone. This is a very high performing part.
Spoken like the company CEO, now on less crack, no proof equals no win.
This isn't the licenced CPU, the Chinese version of which is actually the lower performant , limited device.
And no where have I heard about AMD licencing rDNA or cDNA ,which this server part would fight with, so as the Op says this is a from scratch developed GPU not a Chinese copy of an American design, time and the lawyers will tell how true that is ,if required.
Posted on Reply
#22
TheEndIsNear
I'm confused. The Chinese are saying that Taiwan is theirs and yet Taiwan semi conductor makes chips for them? I guess money is the king of the world not just in our crap country. Sad. People don't realize how much of a threat they are. It's nice to know they stole enough technology to do this though. We'll all be speaking Chinese sometime this century if the world doesn't wake up. Their thug genocidal government pisses me off. I feel bad for the Chinese people.
Posted on Reply
#23
XiGMAKiD
Mescalamba
More money in "pro" sphere with GPU than in market for gamers. Even more in mining.
Agree, but also entering consumer market is even more money, not to mention the PR value it adds to their reputation.
TheEndIsNear
I'm confused. The Chinese are saying that Taiwan is theirs and yet Taiwan semi conductor makes chips for them? I guess money is the king of the world not just in our crap country. Sad. People don't realize how much of a threat they are. It's nice to know they stole enough technology to do this though. We'll all be speaking Chinese sometime this century if the world doesn't wake up. Their thug genocidal government pisses me off. I feel bad for the Chinese people.
Yes, money is king. Yes, Chinese GOVERNMENT is a threat. No, we won't be speaking Chinese anytime soon if not ever, their language is among the hardest to learn.
Posted on Reply
#24
ADB1979
I wonder how much of the design was stolen.?
Posted on Reply
#25
Fluffmeister
TheEndIsNear
I'm confused. The Chinese are saying that Taiwan is theirs and yet Taiwan semi conductor makes chips for them? I guess money is the king of the world not just in our crap country. Sad. People don't realize how much of a threat they are. It's nice to know they stole enough technology to do this though. We'll all be speaking Chinese sometime this century if the world doesn't wake up. Their thug genocidal government pisses me off. I feel bad for the Chinese people.
Let's hope they don't annex Taiwan just yet, but I'm sure it's on the cards.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment