Nvidia Launches China-Developed Chip That Meets US Export Controls

American chipmaker Nvidia said on Monday it is supplying a new chip developed to China that meets the latest export control rules aimed at keeping high-end technology out of Chinese hands.

The new chip, called the A800, represents the first reported attempt by a US semiconductor company to build advanced processors in China that follow new US trade rules. Nvidia said the export restrictions could cost hundreds of millions of dollars in profits.

Nvidia’s comments confirmed a Reuters report that Chinese computer vendors are promoting products with the new chip.

US rules imposed in early October effectively banned the export of advanced microchips and equipment to produce advanced chips by Chinese chipmakers, part of an effort to disrupt China’s semiconductor and military industries.

In late August, Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices both said their advanced chips, including Nvidia’s data center chip A100, were placed on the export control list by the Commerce Department. The Nvidia A800 can be used instead of the A100, and both are GPUs, or graphics processing units.

Such advanced chips can cost thousands of dollars each.

“The Nvidia A800 GPU, which began production in Q3, is a separate product of the Nvidia A100 GPU for Chinese customers. The A800 meets the US Government’s stringent export control test and cannot be scheduled to pass,” an Nvidia spokesperson said in a statement. sent to Reuters.

At least two websites of major Chinese server makers offer the A800 chip in their products. One of those brands previously used the A100 chip in promotional materials.

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

“The A800 appears to be a repackaged A100 GPU designed to avoid the recent trade restrictions of the Ministry of Commerce,” said Wayne Lam, an analyst at CCS Insight, basing his comments on information shared by Reuters, and noting that the number eight is China’s lucky number.

“China is an important market for Nvidia and it makes good business sense to restructure your product to avoid trade restrictions,” Lam said.

Lam said the A800’s chip-to-chip communication capabilities represent a clear cut in data center performance when thousands of chips are used together.

Major Chinese server makers Inspur and H3C, which offer servers with the new chips, did not respond to requests for comment. Neither did chip supplier OmniSky, which posted specifications for the A800 online.

Nvidia said around $400 million (about Rs. 3,278 crore) of its chip sales to China could be impacted in its fiscal third quarter ended October due to restrictions on high-end chips. Having a replacement chip can help alleviate financial stress.

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

© Thomson Reuters 2022

Affiliate links may be created automatically – see our ethics statement for details.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: