AI news: ByteDance’s AI Chip Ambitions – Partnering with Broadcom

In a significant AI news move to bolster its AI capabilities, ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, is reportedly collaborating with U.S. chip designer Broadcom to develop an advanced AI processor. This partnership aims to secure a stable supply of high-performance chips for ByteDance amid ongoing U.S.-China tech tensions.

tiktok statistics NewBlogCover AI news: ByteDance's AI Chip Ambitions - Partnering with Broadcom

AI news Key Points:

  • The project involves creating a 5nm application-specific integrated chip (ASIC).
  • The chip will comply with U.S. regulations.
  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is expected to manufacture the chip, though production isn’t slated to begin this year.
  • While design work is progressing, the “tapeout” phase hasn’t started yet.

This development comes as ByteDance, like many tech giants, is heavily investing in generative AI. However, Chinese firms face significant challenges in securing advanced AI chips due to U.S. export controls.

ByteDance’s AI Strategy:

  • The company has been stockpiling Nvidia chips, including A100, H100, A800, and H800 models.
  • It reportedly allocated $2 billion for Nvidia chip purchases last year.
  • ByteDance has also acquired Huawei’s Ascend 910B chips.
  • The firm is actively recruiting semiconductor talent, with numerous job openings in ASIC chip design.

The ByteDance-Broadcom partnership, which dates back to at least 2022, is crucial for enhancing ByteDance’s AI capabilities across its portfolio of apps, including TikTok, Douyin, and the ChatGPT-like Doubao.

This move underscores the growing importance of custom AI chip development in the tech industry and highlights the challenges faced by Chinese companies in accessing cutting-edge AI hardware amidst geopolitical tensions.

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