The story of “Science and Technology Help the Country”
by Hong Kong Entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley Female Doctor
*Excerpted from an interview with STCN
Dr. Aglaia Kong was born in Guangzhou, and then went to Macau with her relatives. When she was a teenager, she went to Canada for her high school, and then went to the United States for further studies. Later, Dr. Aglaia Kong has been working in Silicon Valley after graduation. She has developed civilian GPS chip technology and served as the CTO of world-renowned technology companies such as Cisco, Symantec, and Google etc. She has rejected Elon Musk’s invitation and she truly is a “science and technology madman”. Mr. Peter Lee Ka-kit is a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Vice Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and the Chairman of Henderson Land Development Group.
In 2017, when Dr. Aglaia Kong was the CTO of Google, Mr. Peter Lee Ka-kit approached her, but she refused to meet him, because in her impression, Henderson was a land development group, and she was not interested. Later, there was a chance, they were met together. At that time, Mr. Peter Lee Ka-kit had a long conversation with Dr. Aglaia Kong. She found that Mr. Lee was different from other investor, “I have contacted by many investors, all their want is ‘money’, they came to me only because I would create value for them. But Mr. Lee is different, his father, Mr. Lee Shau-kee, is a famous philanthropist in Hong Kong. He has donated numerous things to the country. Under such living environment and family education, Mr. Peter Lee Ka-kit believes that helping others is his responsibility and belief; therefore, Mr. Lee is very eager to do something practical for the country.”
In this conversation, Mr. Peter Lee Ka-kit shared his purpose of visit to Silicon Valley to find scientists like Dr. Aglaia Kong. He hoped that Dr. Kong could return to China to start a business and solve the country’s key technology problems that have been “stuck” by foreign companies for many years, and to achieve his “Chips serve the country” wish. Since it is difficult to help solve larger problems by relying only on charity and donations, his idea is to serve the country with science and technology.
This idea coincides with that of Dr. Aglaia Kong, who has always pursued technology to change the world and make people’s lives better. This value recognition made her officially start thinking about the feasibility of returning to China to start a business. “I have already achieved a high position in the best and most leading technology company abroad. What’s the point of going back and forth to continue to be a professional manager in a large company? I understand that there are many shortcomings in technologies in China. If I can help solve some shortcomings, it will have a great impact on China’s ability to improve independent R&D capability of scientific and technological innovation. If that is done well, it will affect the lives of billions of people, and it will be very satisfying, and realize greater value. That’s why I came back.” Dr. Aglaia Kong said.
Dr. Aglaia Kong said to Mr. Peter Lee Ka-kit, “You are rich, but that’s not enough.” Although Mr. Peter Lee Ka-kit’s father was selected as the richest man in Asia by Forbes magazine in the 1990s, he is still considered not rich enough in the chip industry. The birth of a chip requires at least “billion” as the unit of burning money. From this point of view, Mr. Peter Lee Ka-kit’s dream of “serving the country with chips” is very ambitious.
In 2019, ExaLeap Technology was established, and Dr. Aglaia Kong served as the CTO and CEO, and the investor and chairman is Mr. Peter Lee Ka-kit. The establishment of an ecosystem may take more than 10 years. Generally, investors will not choose such a project, but Mr. Peter Lee Ka-kit invested without hesitation, and Dr. Ahlaia Kong lived up to expectations, she led the team to find the RISC-V open-source architecture, based on which the CPU anf operating system were made, this chip architecture can compete with ARM. At the same time the open-source operating system technology, will not make the CPU and operating system “stuck”.
In addition, Mr. Peter Lee Ka-kit helped Dr. Aglaia Kong to expand her “social life” and introduced industrial chain resources. Therefore, Guangdong LeapFivr Technology was officially established in 2020, with Galanz Group, ExaLeap and SiFive Technology as shareholders. This is the largest chip project invested by Shunde District, Foshan in recent years, with an amount of up to 10 billion CNY. In 2020, LeapFive Technology launched the first independently developed chip “BF-Xijiao” and realized mass production and application. This 40nkm chip has low power consumption and supports blockchain to ensure the security of information and data, as well as can be used in 6 or 7 different scenarios. The second chip “NB-Shishan” was successfully tape-out in December 2021. “This chip is specially used in edge computing scenarios. It uses 12nm technology and contains four very powerful ‘brains’, each of which can run 64-bit computing with a main frequency of up to 1.8GHz.” Dr. Aglaia Kong said.
When asked about her vision, Dr. Aglaia Kong said humorously: “I hope that the technology I make will continue to bring value to our generation and the next generation. But at that time, I might have gone to space.” Going to space It was her childhood dream, which has been mentioned many times in interviews. This is a full-fledged entrepreneur who lives in a company and has very short rest time every day, but she is very happy because her journey is a sea of stars.
When asked about his vision, Dr. Chaohui Jiang said wryly, “I hope that the technology I make will continue to bring value to our generation, the next generation. When people then I may have gone to space.” Going to space is her childhood dream, which has been mentioned many times in the interview. This is an all-in entrepreneur who lives in the company and has very little time to rest every day, but she is happy because her journey is the sea of stars.