Competition could be looming for Intel and AMD. Chinese CPU maker Zhaoxin is planning to release its first 7 nm processors, the mobile and desktop KX-7000 series, in 2021. These products (which will be produced by TSMC) are quite a jump for the company, as its current lineup was manufactured on the ancient 16 nm process. The SoC will support PCIe 4.0 and DDR5, while the CPU itself could feature a DirectX 12-compatible iGPU.
Unfortunately, the company’s current SoC and core design is still rather weak in terms of IPC and power efficiency. If Zhaoxin will be able to push the frequency further to as high as 3.5-4 GHz, they will close a good portion of the performance gap, but for their product to be at competitive levels with other x86 chips, in order to extract significant performance uplift from 7 and 5 nm, the company is going to step up its microarchitecture design.