Chinese company PowerLeader says it is coming out with its own x86 CPU. The “Pstar P3” with model name P3-01105 bears a striking resemblance to the Intel Core i3-10105 from early 2021.
The IHS (integrated heat spreader) design and the name of the chip suggest that this is a variant of the older Intel chip. The clock frequency of 3.7 GHz is also the same as that of the i3 10105. It is still unclear whether this might be a licensing deal with the American tech giant. This would be noteworthy. TechPowerUp indicates that Intel has not done such a deal since 1982. Producing x86 chips requires a license, which currently only Intel, AMD and China’s Zhaoxin hold.
The Chinese manufacturer expects to sell 1.5 million units a year. PowerLeader’s website shows that it seems to be focusing mainly on servers. Should this not be a legitimate deal between PowerLeader and Intel, this could well be the next case of Chinese IP theft. Earlier this year, we wrote that Dutch company ASML accused a Chinese former employee of stealing sensitive company data.
Chinese chip production is currently suffering greatly from export restrictions put in place by the U.S. and Europe. Still, there are examples of Chinese CPUs such as the Loongson 3D5000, with 32 cores. Tom’s Hardware states that this chip is nowhere near its AMD and Intel counterparts in terms of performance, but it is more about national self-sufficiency in chips. China is likely to manufacture increasingly sophisticated CPUs and GPUs in the coming years, but it remains to be seen when one will beat Western competition. The profligate use of “borrowed” IP from America and Europe will certainly help in this regard.