According to Nvidia, the ban might delay the company’s flagship chip, the H100, which was launched earlier this year and is designed to speed up machine learning activities. As a result of the news, after-hours trading saw a drop of around 3 per cent for the stock.
Nvidia Corp, a chip designer, announced on Wednesday that it had been ordered by U.S. officials to stop selling two of its top processing chips for artificial intelligence work to China, a move that would hurt a company that accounted for $400 million in sales in the current quarter.
Nvidia has stated that the prohibition may delay the completion of development of the H100, the company’s flagship chip announced earlier this year, as both the A100 and H100 are designed to speed up machine learning activities. After the news broke, the stock price dropped by around 3 per cent.
This news marks a significant increase in tensions between the United States and China over technological issues. Chinese businesses will be unable to affordably perform the kind of complex computing used for image and speech recognition if they are unable to import processors from American companies like Nvidia and its rival Advanced Micro Devices.
Nvidia’s flagship AI chips are identical to AMD’s, and AMD did not immediately react to re3uqest for comment. In after-market trade, AMD’s stock dropped by 2%.
To add insult to injury, Nvidia’s data centre revenue in Q4 FY2023 could be negatively impacted if the company is unable to finish developing its Hopper H100-based products (and possibly Grace Hopper-based products, as well) on time due to delays in shipping samples to its numerous manufacturing partners in China (which ends in late January 2023).
The company has warned that the new licencing requirement could force it to move certain operations outside of China and delay the development of H100 or its support for existing A100 clients. In order to pursue internal development and support activities without interference from the USG, the company has been in contact with the latter.
Midway through the year 2020, Nvidia released the A100, its next-generation GPU designed for use in data centres. Both the A100X and the H100 from Nvidia offer increased performance over the A100, making a licence purchase obligatory.
Nvidia still won’t be able to offer Hopper H100 to Chinese customers without an export licence, as even a trimmed-down version of the product would likely still outperform the A100. In the meantime, Nvidia has already stopped exporting to Russia.