Intel Launches China Innovation Hub Amidst Sanctions | Silicon

Intel Launches China Innovation Hub Amidst Sanctions | Silicon

Chip giant Intel is to build an innovation centre in Chinese tech hub Shenzhen amidst US government pressure on firms to reduce their ties with the rival country.

The centre, which is to focus on helping Chinese start-ups, will have artificial intelligence as one of its areas of expertise, even as the US and its allies tighten export restrictions on AI-oriented technologies.

Intel formally launched the Intel Greater Bay Area Innovation Centre with the Nanshan district government, saying the centre would focus on AI, chip applications, edge computing and other areas.

Intel China chair Wang Rui said at a launch event on Saturday that Intel would leverage its technology and ecosystem to “facilitate the integration and development of emerging sectors in the Greater Bay Area and across the country … and help develop the digital economy”.

Start-up boost

The firm is working with six local tech companies including computer peripherals maker Ugreen and fabless chip firms Senary Technology Group and Chipsea Technologies.

The companies said they would set up joint labs focusing on low-carbon and energy-saving IT systems, PC and server chips and smart transport.

Intel also said it would help start-ups in the Nanshan area of Shenzhen with market roll-outs and gaining industry access.

The firm last month launched the Gaudi2 accelerator chip which it said complies with US export restrictions and can be sold in China for purposes such as training AI systems.

‘AI future’

Intel executive vice-president Sandra Rivera said at a Gaudi2 launch event in Beijing in mid-July that the chip would help “build up China’s AI future”.

Chief executive Pat Gelsinger in July visited companies in China to coincide with the Gaudi2 launch, his second visit to the country in three months.

Over the weekend Chinese chip maker Jingjia Microelectronics, which is on a US trade blacklist, said it would launch a GPU development centre in the eastern city of Wuxi amidst efforts to build up the domestic chip industry.

The company said its GPUs would help firms replace imported with domestic parts after the US introduced export restrictions last October barring Chinese firms access to advanced chips and chipmaking tools.