top of page


  • Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

Alibaba making their own data centres with new in-house chips

The current generation of tech superpowers has been tackling the shortage of chips and price management of server space for quite some time. Though patience is one of the core fundamentals of acquiring new technology, the time has come for powerhouses not to rely on others for continuous business. Most companies relied on Intel or AMD for chip manufacturing in the last years but currently, Amazon, Microdot, Apple now Alibaba targeted building their chips, and some perfected the technology along the way.

Ecommerce giant Amazon with their number two business AWS saw massive business success and enabled companies with cloud power. This time around, Alibaba is putting a competitive angle on Amazon in the sector. Even Huawei is getting partial rivalry from the Chinese eCommerce. New in-house processors, servers and data centres are also going to power companies outside China. It is the second time we are seeing a Chinese company putting out mass-market chips.

On Tuesday, the company launched a new chip specially designed for servers. The processor goes by Yitian 710, and it is the first generation of processors coming out the company directly implementing on Panjiu servers.

Cloud computing has become a massive part of the current technology, and without it, a lot of business becomes obsolete because the dependency is too great. US tech giants Microsoft and Amazon now have other global competitors that supply cloud computing services and server chips. We realized the hard way that tech is better when there are competitors as they fight against each other to produce better products at better prices.

The company boasted plans to put out cloud services outside China along with in-house chips powering data centres. Semiconductors are the core of computing infrastructure, getting denser every year, meaning more cores in a small factor. 128 Arm cores power first-generation Yitian 710 processors with a top speed of up to 3.2 GHz. Coming up with this kind of speed on first-gen is quite impressive. The company has been in the development process for years as it is the biggest news coming out of them this year without further announcements.

According to Alibaba, the chips are compatible with the latest generation Armv9 architecture with the 3.2 GHz clock speed, meaning greater core count with better efficiency.

President of Alibaba cloud intelligence Jeff Zhang said, “customising our server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts towards boosting our computing capabilities.” He also mentioned better performance and improved energy efficiency similar to the latest generation processors of other vendors.

For a new player in town, Alibaba has a long way to go, with which we all can agree, but the competition in the current market is undoubtedly going to change as there will be a new lead for supply.

Jeff said their plan is “to use the chips to support current and future business across the Alibaba Group ecosystem.” Shortly, they will also power next-gen computing services.

Top tier CPU manufacturers promote their product for an optimised workbench, machine learning compatibilities and artificial intelligence efficiency. Chips from Alibaba also seem to adopt the same way, as they are also focusing on energy-saving cores with machine learning capabilities.

The Panjiu serves a modular design, optimized for large scale data centres and cloud-native workloads, said by CRN report. Alibaba predicts cloud computing will boost the company economy and directly contribute to 8 per cent of revenue in the coming days. According to Canalys, Alibaba is currently the largest cloud computing vendor in China but saw a dip in growth when they suffered through the cloud computing business served overseas.

Hanguang was Alibaba’s first AI chip, released in 2019, but this one is taking all attention from the previous one as it heats rivalry with top US CPU makers.


bottom of page