OAKLAND, CA, Nov 7 (Reuters) – US chip maker Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) has confirmed it is introducing a new high-end chip in China that meets recent export control rules aimed at keeping cutting-edge technology out of China’s hands, As confirmed by the company. on Monday.
Nvidia responded to a Reuters report that Chinese PC vendors are advertising their products with the new chip.
The chip, called the A800, marks the first reported effort by a US semiconductor company to create advanced processors for China that follow new US trade rules. Nvidia said the export restrictions could cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
US regulations put in place in early October effectively banned the export of microchips and advanced equipment for producing advanced chips by Chinese chip makers, as part of an effort to disrupt China’s semiconductor industry, and thus the military.
In late August, Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices Inc AMD.O said their advanced chips, including the Nvidia A100 data center chip, had been added to an export control list by the US Department of Commerce. The Nvidia A800 can be used in place of the A100 and both are GPUs or GPUs.
These advanced chips can cost thousands of dollars each.
“The Nvidia A800 GPU, which went into production in the third quarter, is another Nvidia A100 GPU replacement product for customers in China. The A800 meets clear US government testing to reduce export controls and cannot be programmed to bypass,” Nvidia said. The spokesman said in a statement to Reuters.
Nvidia declined to comment on whether it was consulting the Commerce Department on the new chip. A Commerce Department spokesman declined to comment.
At least two Chinese websites offer major server manufacturers the A800 chip in their products. One of these products previously used the A100 chip in promotional materials.
A distributor website in China has detailed the specifications of the A800. A comparison of the capabilities of the chip with the A100 shows that the data transfer rate from chip to chip is 400 Gbps on the new chip, down from 600 Gbps on the A100. The new rules limit rates of 600 Gbps and above.
Basing his comments on specifications shared by Reuters, said Wayne Lamm, an analyst at CCS Insight, noting that eight is a lucky number in China.
“China is an important market for Nvidia and it makes business sense to reconfigure your product to avoid trade restrictions,” Lam said.
Lam said the chip-to-chip communications capabilities of the A800 represent a clear reduction in data center performance as thousands of chips are used together.
Major Chinese server makers Inspur and H3C, which provide servers with the new chips, did not respond to requests for comment. Nor did chip distributor OmniSky, who posted the specifications of the A800 online.
Nvidia said chip sales worth about $400 million to China could be affected in the fiscal third quarter ending in October due to restrictions on high-quality chips. Getting a replacement chip can help reduce the financial hit. The company will report quarterly results on November 16.
Reporting by Jane Lanhe Lee in Oakland, California. Editing by Peter Henderson, Matthew Lewis and Leslie Adler
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