Breaking: ByteDance Joins Forces with Broadcom to Forge Next-Gen AI Chip!

  • Editor
  • June 24, 2024

China’s ByteDance is collaborating with U.S. chip designer Broadcom to develop a sophisticated AI processor to secure a stable supply of high-end chips amidst ongoing U.S.-China tensions.

This collaboration involves the creation of a 5-nanometer application-specific integrated chip (ASIC), designed to comply with U.S. export restrictions.

The chip manufacturing will be outsourced to Taiwan’s TSMC. This partnership is significant as it marks one of the first collaborations between Chinese and U.S. companies involving advanced semiconductor technology since the U.S. imposed export controls on cutting-edge semiconductors in 2022.

Historically, U.S.-China semiconductor deals have focused on less advanced technology. By aligning with Broadcom, ByteDance aims to reduce procurement costs and ensure a reliable supply of high-end chips.

The design phase of the chip is well underway, though manufacturing is not expected to commence this year. ByteDance’s and Broadcom’s representatives have declined to comment on the collaboration, and TSMC also refrained from commenting.

ByteDance, known for its popular apps like TikTok and Douyin, has been pushing into the generative AI space but faces a limited supply of AI chips compared to its international counterparts.

U.S. export controls have restricted access to Nvidia’s most advanced chipsets, compelling ByteDance to stockpile chips before sanctions took effect. This includes Nvidia’s A100 and H100 chips and later restricted A800 and H800 chips made for the Chinese market.

Additionally, ByteDance purchased Huawei’s Ascend 910B chips and has actively recruited top talent from other Chinese AI chip firms.

The company has posted numerous semiconductor-related job openings, including positions for ASIC chip designers, highlighting its commitment to advancing its AI capabilities.

This strategic move by ByteDance to collaborate with Broadcom underscores the importance of securing high-performance AI chips to enhance its algorithms and maintain competitiveness in the rapidly evolving AI landscape.

The outcome of this partnership could potentially influence the semiconductor industry’s dynamics, especially in the context of U.S.-China relations.

With silicon photonics playing a crucial role, the collaboration aims to overcome traditional electrical signal transmission limitations, significantly improving data transmission speeds and reducing latency.

byu/theatlantic from discussion

The semiconductor industry is under pressure to achieve faster data transmission speeds with zero signal delay as AI applications flood most tech fields.

Broadcom’s expertise in silicon photonics and ByteDance’s substantial AI workloads make this partnership particularly promising. The integration of silicon photonics, which converts electrical signals into light, is poised to revolutionize chip performance.

The collaboration reflects a strategic pivot in response to the global semiconductor supply chain’s vulnerabilities exposed by geopolitical tensions and export restrictions.

ByteDance’s efforts to advance its AI capabilities through such collaborations could set a precedent for other Chinese tech giants navigating the challenging landscape of global semiconductor politics.

ByteDance’s partnership with Broadcom marks a significant step in China’s journey towards semiconductor self-sufficiency and technological independence, with the potential to reshape the global AI world.

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Dave Andre


Digital marketing enthusiast by day, nature wanderer by dusk. Dave Andre blends two decades of AI and SaaS expertise into impactful strategies for SMEs. His weekends? Lost in books on tech trends and rejuvenating on scenic trails.

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