Chip maker VIA is set on making a return to the CPU market. You might remember them from the past, they became known with their motherboard chipsets and Cyrix procs actually. They are working on a Zhaoxin series CPUs, which are to compete with AMD and Intel. The newly introduced KX-5000 processors provide eight x86 cores at a clock rate of 2.0 GHz.
Zhaoxin has introduced the KX-5000 x86 chips, which are equipped with DDR4 memory and a graphics unit. With this first release, VIA plans to be in line with AMD within two generations of product releases. Since everything in the CPU market is about licenses and patents, the good news for VIA is that they have an x86 license for processors, which could be used for cross-license agreements.
The KX-5000 is a native Octa-core with initially 2 GHz in the form of a system-on-a-chip. It integrates a graphics unit for 4K video, a dual-channel DDR4 controller, PCIe Gen3 lanes, USB 3.1 Gen2 and Sata 6 Gbps. The design is meant to run up-to 2.4 GHz and actually will be used by Lenovo in 2018 with the desktop system M6200. For the next few years, the KX-6000 and the KX-7000 are planned.
A roadmap of Zhaoxin shows that in the future a 16nm processor is in the works, with 8 cores on a DIE. That core clock is expected to rise to 3.0 gigahertz, but further improvements in architecture are not mentioned. In a later stage, KX-7000 would switch to PCI-E 4.0 and DDR5. As Tralalak reports, these processors are expected to reach the same level as the AMD processors, probably comparable with Zen 2 in 2019.