Chinese Chip Startup Biren Technology’s Cofounder Golf Jiao Quits

Golf Jiao, a co-founder and General Manager of the Graphics GPU product line at Chinese chip start-up Biren Technology, has resigned, according to an insider cited in a report by Chinese media outlet Guancha on March 25.

Biren Technology was founded in September 2019 and primarily develops general-purpose GPUs (GPGPUs) for fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) training and inference. The company has completed its Series B financing with a total amount raised exceeding 5 billion yuan ($726.6 million). In August last year, the firm officially released its first universal GPU chip BR100, which set a global computing power record with over 1,000T floating-point computing power and over 2,000T fixed-point computing power. Its peak single-chip performance reached PFLOPS level.

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Golf Jiao has more than 25 years of profound experience in GPU product architecture and research & development. He experienced the rapid development of the graphics processor industry over the past two decades. Jiao worked for Qualcomm for eleven years as head of their GPU team where he developed five generations of classic Qualcomm Adreno mobile GPU architectures. Additionally, Jiao also served as Chief Scientist for Huawei Futurewei’s department and was responsible for graphic image processing and UI system framework.

The specific reason why Jiao resigned is still unclear. Prior to this report, there were rumors circulating about “disharmony” within Biren Technology’s R&D team, but some insiders then claimed that these reports were untrue.

It is worth mentioning that, since Jiao has a technical background, he hoped to have more say in determining his company’s direction regarding product R&D while also hoping to enter into the field of graphics GPUs which have greater consumer demand compared to GPGPUs, which are dominated by NVIDIA currently. On September 6 last year, Biren Technology announced the official launch of a new graphics GPU product line with Jiao  personally leading the team.

In contrast, Biren Technology’s founder and CEO MichaelZhang is a Harvard Law School PhD who has worked for the United Nations and Wall Street for many years. He became a senior lawyer and private equity fund manage. From 2018 to 2019, he served as President of SenseTime, a leading AI company. There have been reports that Zhang opposes Jiao’s desire to bring Biren Technology into the field of graphics GPUs while also limiting investment in resources towards its development.

Biren Technology’s official website has deleted the press release announcing the launch of its new graphics GPU product line. As of March 27, there has been no official announcement from Biren Technology regarding Jiao’s resignation.