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NVIDIA to launch AI chips for China in Q2 2024

Written by Mon 8 Jan 2024

Image Credit: Reuters

US chipmaker, NVIDIA, intends to begin mass production in Q2 2024 of an artificial intelligence (AI) chip designed to meet US export rules.

Reuters reported the initial production volume of the chip will be limited, with NVIDIA primarily fulfilling orders for major customers. Both of Reuters’ sources chose to remain anonymous, as the information was confidential.

Announced in October, the H20 is the most powerful of the three chips NVIDIA developed for China to meet US restrictions. The chip’s November launch was postponed due to integration issues experienced by the server manufacturers.

NVIDIA has also planned two other chips, named L20 and the L2, to comply with the new restrictions. The US chipmaker has yet to announce the sale of these chips.

Last month, Chinese companies were reportedly reluctant to purchase the H20 chips and are testing domestic alternatives amid fear that the US could once again tighten restrictions. 

The H20, L20, and L2 chips from NVIDIA incorporated the majority of the company’s latest AI features, according to SemiAnalysis examination of the chips. However, the chips have decreased power to comply with newly established regulations.

On 23 October, US export restrictions curbing the sale of high-end AI chips to China came into effect. Implementation of these restrictions was said to be expedited, as regulators advanced the deadline.

The new restrictions are aimed at preventing countries like China, Iran, and Russia from acquiring advanced AI chips like those designed by NVIDIA. They prohibit the sale of chips above a threshold of compute performance of connectivity. 

Both NVIDIA’s AI chips, the A800 and H800, were affected by the decision. These chips were customised for the Chinese market to meet previous export rules implemented in 2022.

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Written by Mon 8 Jan 2024

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