Tencent bolsters its efforts in semiconductors by launching three new chips

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on Nov 4, 2021
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  • The launch of the new chips comes as the country tries to boost its domestic chip sector.
  • China technology giants are trying to bolster their efforts in semiconductors.
  • Tencent has been trying to diversify by investing in many different areas, including cloud computing.

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On Wednesday, Tencent (HKG: 00700), the biggest gaming company in China and globally, launched three new chips it created in-house. This marks the first time the company has publicly discussed what it’s doing in the semiconductors space. 

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This comes as the nation tries to boost its domestic chip sector. China has made this a strategic priority for its technology industry. Besides being the operator of the most popular messaging service in China, WeChat, Tencent is also investing in the cloud computing and chip space for diversification purposes. 

Senior management statement

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Tencent’s Chief Executive Officer, Dowson Tong, said:

“Chips are the core part of hardware and the core infrastructure of the industrial internet.”

The CEO made these statements in one of the company’s official WeChat posts. 

Details of the new chips

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One of the new semiconductors from Tencent is an AI chip the company has dubbed Zixiao. This chip can process natural language, video, and images, which AI voice assistants can use. For instance, the ones that depend on how well a computer can process and understand human language. 

A video transcoding chip is the second one in the company’s semiconductors catalog. These can be used to change the format of video content.

The final chip they launched is a network card. This chip is designed to assist in cloud computing procedures. 

Tencent has poured quite a lot of its capital into the semiconductors space. In August, a 2nd-gen AI chip was launched by Baidu, and last month, Alibaba gave the world a chip that can be used for cloud computing.

With that said, the tech giants in China are still only designing these products by themselves. The rest of the manufacturing and development processes are being handled by foreign companies. 

Tencent didn’t say who was manufacturing the silicon it uses in its chips. Most of the company’s playing in this space are tight-lipped about where they do most of their manufacturing and development.   

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