Chip war sees TSMC stop work on Chinese AI chip

Chip war sees TSMC stop work on Chinese AI chip

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has stopped making AI chips for Chinese startup Biren while it ensures compliance with US requirements, according to a Bloomberg report.

Biren is a 2019 startup that has developed its first GPU/AI chip as a possible competitor to Nvidia, at least in China. At launch time it claimed that the chiplet-based component offered three times the performance of flagship products sold by others. The Biren chips are due to made by TSMC using a 7nm manufacturing process.

When elevated sanctions were announced by the US Department of Commerce on October 7 it was considered that a number of Chinese startups might lose access to foundry services.

Then it was reported that TSMC and Biren had concluded that the BR100 and BR104 GPU/AI chips were below the threshold imposed by the restrictions and could still be made by TSMC.

Bloomberg now references an unnamed person saying TSMC has not reached a conclusion on whether Biren’s chips exceed the US threshold for restrictions but that the chipmaker has decided to stop supplies for now.

Biren is led by founder, chairman and CEO Zhang Wen.

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