Sources in the industry say that on March 27th, Jiao Guofang withdrew from his position as co-founder of the Chinese GPU startup Biren Technology. Although the precise cause is still unknown, it appears that a number of variables may have played a role in Jiao’s decision.
First, though, a quick review of what Biren Tech is. The Shanghai-based Chinese startup raised over 5 billion yuan ($726.6 million) to fund its newest GPU project, which it claimed would provide significantly superior performance than NVIDIA’s most recent GPUs on the market, such as the Ampere A100.
The first general-purpose GPU processor, the BR100, was formally launched by Biren Technology in August of last year, breaking previous records for processing capacity. The highest processing power of a single processor hit the PFLOPS threshold, and the 16-bit floating-point computing power exceeded 1000T, the 8-bit fixed-point computing power exceeded 2000T.
Soon after the company began discussing the details of its Biren GPUs and how they would compete with NVIDIA, China was struck with a total prohibition on using foreign fabrication for its semiconductor production. This prevented Biren from using TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing node to manufacture its Biren GPUs.
The business had to find a workaround because of US laws and the significant economic danger the GPUs presented to NVIDIA and US Military research. However, it is obvious that China lacks the necessary technology to produce the same GPUs as guaranteed by Biren.
Furthermore, industry accounts suggest that Jiao Guofang’s departure was precipitated by tensions between him and Zhang Wen, the founder and CEO of Biren Technology, over the latter’s authority and vision for the company’s future.
Zhang Wen was opposed to Jiao Guofang’s desire to bring Biren Technology into the graphics GPU field, and restricted the investment in graphics GPU research and development, which led to Jiao Guofang being emptied.MyDrivers
NVIDIA’s biggest competitor in the AI-focused GPU competition was BirenTech, and with the exit of the company’s top executive, they may now face challenges.