Nvidia’s new A800 GPU chips start selling in China
Published: Nov 08, 2022 07:34 PM
chip Photo:VCG

chip Photo:VCG

US chipmaker Nvidia's new advanced chip A800, which complies with the US' export restrictions, is being sold on Chinese e-commerce platforms. It marks a fresh move by the company to sustain growth in the world's largest chip market, underscoring US chipmakers' dependence on China despite the Biden administration's push for "tech decoupling".

On Tuesday, stores on online marketplace Taobao were selling the Nvidia A800 graphics processing unit (GPU). According to the product description, the chip-to-chip data transfer rate is 400 gigabytes (GB) a second, compared with 600GB a second on the advanced A100. Apart from this, there are no significant differences between the two GPUs.

An anonymous Shenzhen-based Taobao store owner who sells Nvidia A800 told the Global Times on Tuesday that he has 1,000 A800 GPUs in storage, which can be delivered immediately.

A Reuters report said that Nvidia is offering the A800 chip in China. "The Nvidia A800 GPU, which went into production in the third quarter, is another alternative product to the Nvidia A100 GPU for customers in China. The A800 meets the US government's clear test for reduced export controls and cannot be programmed to exceed it," Reuters reported.

Nvidia didn't reply to a Global Times email seeking confirmation on Tuesday.

"Nvidia's new move is within expectations, as no US chipmaker is willing to lose huge Chinese market share, whatever tricks American politicians play to pressure them," Xiang Ligang, an independent tech analyst, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"Local Chinese companies could also produce high-end products similar to Nvidia's A100. It's only a matter of time," he said, noting that a domestic startup has designed a GPU chip with better capabilities than Nvidia's, though it hasn't realized mass production.

Xiang said more US companies are expected to take action to reduce the impact of the Biden administration's restrictions and continue their business ties with Chinese customers.

According to data from industry body Semi, the sales of semiconductor equipment in the Chinese mainland reached $29.62 billion in 2021, up 58 percent year-on-year, accounting for 29 percent of the global semiconductor equipment market.

In August, the Biden administration prohibited Nvidia and AMD from exporting sophisticated chips to China in a fresh move of intensifying containment of China's high-tech sector.

The GPU is one of the most important types of computing components and has been widely used in applications including graphics and video rendering, artificial intelligence and creative production. Prior to the ban, Nvidia accounted for about 95 percent of China's AI and supercomputing chip market share, data showed.

Nvidia said in a previous statement that the Biden administration's export ban would make the company lose approximately $400 million in potential sales to China in the third quarter. The company will report quarterly results next week.