Alibaba puts the heat on AWS and Huawei with new chips, servers and data centers

Alibaba is stepping up its game against its cloud competitors, including Amazon Web Services and Huawei, by developing new in-house processors and a range of servers to bolster its cloud computing data centers, while also unveiling plans to build new data centers. data outside of China. The new server and semiconductor innovation aims to boost the Chinese cloud giant’s compute capabilities and reach in the global market compared to AWS and Huawei, both of which have also released their own server chips.

Alibaba’s new chip, dubbed Yitian 710, is based on 5nm processing technology and is powered by 128 Arm cores with a maximum clock speed of 3.2 GHz. Alibaba said the Yitian 710 is the first server processor compatible with the latest Armv9 architecture.

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“Customizing our own server chips is consistent with our continued efforts to increase our computing capabilities with better performance and improved energy efficiency,” said Jeff Zhang, president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, at the Apsara d annual conference. ‘Alibaba this week. “We plan to use the chips to support current and future businesses in the Alibaba Group ecosystem. We will also be offering our customers next-generation IT services powered by the new chip-powered servers in the near future. “

Yitian 710 server chips are not commercially available and will work on proprietary cloud native servers. Alibaba is developing a new line of proprietary servers, dubbed Panjiu, which will be powered by its new Yitian 710 processors. The combination of new chips and new servers is an initiative to boost Alibaba’s cloud services package by optimizing the energy efficiency and IT performance.

In separating computing from storage, Alibaba said its Panjiu servers are optimized for general-purpose and specialized artificial intelligence computing in Alibaba’s cloud, as well as high-performance storage.

Panjiu servers have a modular design approach to large scale data center deployment as well as a wide variety of cloud native workloads, such as containerized applications and compute optimized workloads. The company has not provided a timeline as to when the new proprietary servers will be in production at Alibaba’s data centers.

Alibaba is the main cloud computing company in China, but is now focused on expanding its presence in other Asian geographies.

This week, the company unveiled plans to open its first data centers in South Korea and Thailand. The new data centers will open in 2022, according to Alibaba.

“We are committed to bringing our world-class hyper-scale cloud infrastructure to Korea and Thailand, so that we can help local businesses be at the forefront of digital transformation,” said Selina Yuan, General Manager of Business companies, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, in a statement.

Earlier this year, Alibaba opened or unveiled plans to open several new data centers in the Philippines and Indonesia.

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