Chinese GPU Maker Moore Threads Lays Off Workers, Restructures After US Sanctions

It’s been less than a month since the U.S. government issued new sanctions against Chinese GPUs, but they’re already having an effect, as Moore Threads is announcing layoffs (via TrendForce). The Chinese company, which is unique in that it has already launched GPUs for gaming and servers, is also restructuring its business by creating two new groups, one for AI and one for the metaverse.

It’s not known how many employees will be laid off, nor is it clear how many employees Moore Threads even had prior to the layoffs. However, according to the company’s LinkedIn page, there are between 500 and 1000 employees, which is already much fewer than GPU designing firms like AMD and Nvidia, both of which have roughly 26,000 employees (though many of AMD’s people are CPU-centric rather than focused on GPUs).

Moore Threads’ CEO, Jianzhong Zhang, said that the layoffs haven’t impacted development of further GPUs and that there’s still a path to success for the company. Notably, Zhang was Nvidia’s China General Manager, who left the company and went on to found Moore Threads.

Alongside a slimming down of the workforce, Moore Threads is also reportedly doing some serious restructuring. It will create two new entities: The AI Strategy Group and the Metaverse Computing Strategy Group.

Ostensibly, Moore Threads sees lots of promise in those two fields, even though development of artificial intelligence (or AI) in China was what prompted the American sanctions in the first place. But given the exploding demand for hardware, and sanctions keeping Nvidia out of major markets, there’s clearly room for another player if the company can continue to improve its products.

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