ByteDance May Prepare to Develop Chips Independently

ByteDance, the owner of global hit short video app TikTok, is now looking to hire a large quantity of chip-related engineers. The company has reportedly been courting many experts from Huawei’s HiSilicon and Arm. Sources familiar with the matter said that ByteDance is preparing for independent chip development, according to a report by Chinese media outlet on July 13.

As for the reason why ByteDance is choosing to independently develop computer chips, the sources said that it can reduce procurement costs and help the firm adjust chips according to specific business needs.

ByteDance’s chip R&D team has been established for more than one year now. The team is divided into three parts including research of server chips, AI chips and video cloud chips, among which the head of the server chips team is a senior person from Qualcomm, a leading American fabless semiconductor company. The positions of chip-related engineers being recruited by the company include front-end design of SoC and Core, model performance analysis, verification, underlying software and driver development, low-power design and chip security.

In March this year, Chinese media reported that ByteDance was independently developing its own cloud AI chips and Arm-based server chips. At that time, a ByteDance spokesperson responded to domestic media, saying that it was indeed setting up relevant teams to carry out explorations within the field of AI chips.

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In April 2018, Yang Zhenyuan, the vice president of ByteDance, said that the company had the largest number of users uploading videos in the world, which needed to be analyzed and processed. The platform recommendation engine also needed strong machine learning computing power, and had a large number of chip purchases and applications. It was also actively seeking breakthroughs in chip-related fields.