Tech

This Chinese company has made a graphics card with Vulkan and DirectX support.

Why is it important: Over the past several years, Chinese companies have been busy developing x86 processors, DRAM and NAND memory that may soon replace the need for overseas solutions. Meanwhile, no one noticed that Innosilicon had developed the first Chinese video card capable of playing games.

While anyone looking to buy a GPU is keeping a close eye on what AMD, Nvidia, and Intel are doing, it’s easy to miss the quiet work of Chinese companies looking to enter the consumer and server GPU market. Back in September, we learned that Jingjia Micro (also known as Jingjiawei) was testing two graphics cards – a lower-end model that is said to be as powerful as a GeForce GTX 1050 or Radeon RX 560, and a higher-end model that can compete for anything. something like GeForce GTX 1080 or RX Vega 64.

Jingjiawei is not the only Chinese company trying to develop a GPU. Innosilicon has followed a similar path, partnering with Xiandong, which already has some experience building server GPUs. Two companies made a graphics card that they named Fenghua 1 and can be used as a compute accelerator card for a data center or as a desktop graphics card.

Interestingly, Fenghua 1 is based on PowerVR IP from Imagination Technologies. It also supports APIs like OpenGL, Vulkan, OpenGL ES, OpenCL and DirectX, which is the first for any Chinese GPU. And since it’s also aimed at the consumer market, it comes with HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4, and even a DVI port.

Not much is known about the hardware itself, but the statement does say that the card is equipped with Micron GDDR6X video memory and that the GPU is based on one of Innolink’s Innosilicon chiplets. In addition, the card is PCIe 4.0 compliant and works in Windows, Linux and Android environments, but the press release did not reveal anything useful about its performance. The only thing we get is FP32 performance, which is rated at 6 teraflops. For reference, AMD’s RX 6600 can hit 7.3 teraflops, while Nvidia’s GTX 1660 SUPER can hit over 5 teraflops.

Another hint of the potential of the new Fenghua 1 graphics card comes from David Harold, Marketing Director at Imagination Technologies. Back in October 2020, he said The 11th Gen PowerVR architecture has 70% better performance per watt over existing desktop GPUs.

If true, this statement may speak of the power efficiency of the Fenghua 1, but we’ll have to wait and see how it performs in real-world tasks compared to existing solutions from Nvidia, AMD, and Intel.

The new graphics card is expected to become available to consumers sometime in 2022-2023.


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