19:05 GMT08 August 2020
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    Numerous investment firms, including Qiming Venture partners, Walden International China Fund and IDG Capital, among others, led the investment round, with the proceeds set to boost China's mainland chipmaking industry amid the ongoing US trade war on China.

    Biren Technology has announced it had finalised a Series A financing round worth 1.1bn yuan ($155.5m USD), the largest in recent history in the semiconductor industry, reports revealed this weekend.

    The 9-month-old smart chip design firm set the record for Series A financing amid the "post-epidemic era", a press statement revealed.

    "The creation of Bicheng Technology coincided with the critical moment of the development of the Chinese semiconductor industry, which is strictly speaking, the crossroads of industrial change," Zhang Wen, founder and chairman of Bicheng Technology said in a statement.

    According to Qiming Zhou of Qiming Ventures, processors accounted for 40 to 50 percent of the overall technology stack in the intelligent computing and artificial intelligence (AI) sector, with other fields only consisting of less than 10 percent, making the financing round the "largest in the chip field in recent decades".

    China was also the "largest consumer market" for AI chips, he added.

    Graphic processing Units (GPUs) and AI computing chips were a "huge and rapidly developing" market as complexities in technological development posed major challenges to the mainland chipmaking industry, Li Xiaojun of IDG capital said.

    Nearly 100 professionals had joined efforts to build the team at Biren Technology, he said.

    While China's integrated circuit industry had entered a "brand new development stage", the development of mainland GPUs had "lagged behind domestic CPUs and memory" products, Wang Lin of Walden International said in a statement.

    But Biren's "strong international" research and development team, among others, built optimism on the company's future development and was believed to "make a huge contribution to the industry", Wang Lin added.

    Trump's Trade War on Beijing Boosts Mainland Chipmaking Industry

    The news follows a major surge in investment for China's semiconductor industry after US president Donald Trump extended a trade ban in May on Chinese tech firms, including Huawei, ZTE and others, set to enter force in September.

    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp also said it would halt all new orders for Huawei products by the September deadline, citing fears of knock on effects from US trade restrictions.

    But Shanghai-based chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) revealed last month it had begun mass-producing 14-nanometre Kirin 710 chipsets to reduce dependence on US tech firms.

    Huawei subsidiary Honor also hinted it would seek to acquire MediaTek 5G Dimensity series chipsets for future mobile handsets. Huawei and auto giant BYD also partnered to supply the latter with Kirin 710A Chips for its smart motors.

    China's State Council also pledged $1.4tn USD to boost key domestic technologies and infrastructure as part of its 'Made In China 2025' programme, including boosting telecom, 5G and artificial intelligence products.

    Washington has routinely accused Chinese firms of being used to spy for the Chinese government, with Huawei and Beijing repeatedly denouncing the claims as false and demanding to see evidence, which US officials have not provided to date.

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    Tags:
    ZTE, Huawei, US-China trade war, processors, microprocessors, microchip, chips, semiconductors
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