Nvidia Offers Alternative Chip for China to Clear U.S. Export Hurdles

Nvidia announced a new chip on Monday that complies with the recent export control rules. The purpose of these rules is to make sure that cutting-edge technology stays in the U.S. and doesn’t migrate to China.

Nvidia is creating the world’s most powerful AI chip to date. The company has said that export limitations could cost it a huge amount of revenue. Because we love great digital products, we enjoy working with founders, and we’ve been in your shoes. You’ll see this in our personal and no-nonsense approach, which includes preserving the culture that has made your business unique and awesome.

After Reuters confirmed it, Nvidia has now officially announced that vendors in China are releasing new computers with their latest chips.

As part of an effort to hamper China’s semiconductor industry and, in turn, its army, US regulations put in place in early October effectively banned Chinese chipmakers from exporting microchips.

In late August, the Commerce Department added Nvidia’s A100 to the export control list. Another company, Advanced Micro Devices, recommended that its advanced chips be exported because Nvidia’s A100 could take its place. Both are GPU or graphics processing unit processors.

These advanced chips can cost thousands of dollars each.

“The Nvidia A800 GPU, which went into production in Q3, is another alternative product to the Nvidia A100 GPU for customers in China. The A800 meets the U.S. Government’s clear test for reduced export control and cannot be programmed to exceed it,” a Nvidia spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters.

At least two Chinese websites by major server manufacturers offer the A800 chip in their products. One of these products used to use the A100 chip in promotional materials.

A distributor website in China has detailed the specifications of the A800. A comparison of the chip’s capabilities with the A100 shows that the chip-to-chip data transfer rate on the new chip is 400 GB/s, down from 600 GB/s on the A100. The new rules limit rates to 600 GB/s and above.

The A800 appears to be a repackaged A100 GPU designed to avoid recent Commerce Department trade restrictions, CCS Insight analyst Wayne Lam said, citing specifications shared by Reuters. china

“China is an important market for Nvidia, and it makes sense to reconfigure our product to avoid trade restrictions,” Lam said.

The A800’s chip-to-chip communication capabilities represent a clear performance drop for a data center where thousands of chips are used together, Lam said.

Chinese server majors Inspur and H3C, which offer servers with the new chips, did not respond to requests for comment. Also chip distributor OmniSky has published the A800 specifications online.

Nvidia has said that its $400 million worth of chip sales to China in the fiscal third quarter ended in October could be affected by restrictions on high-end chips. Having a replacement chip can help lessen the financial hit.

Nvidia declined to comment on whether it had consulted with the Commerce Department about the new chip. A spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce declined to comment.

Also Read : Exclusive: Nvidia introduces a new advanced chip in China that complies with US export controls.

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