Nvidia tweaks flagship H100 chip for export to China as H800

Nvidia, which dominates the market for artificial intelligence (AI) chips, has modified its flagship product into a new version that is legal to export to China, Reuters news report said.
Nvidia chip businessU.S. regulators last year put into place rules that stopped Nvidia from selling its two most advanced chips, the A100 and newer H100, to Chinese customers. Such chips are crucial to developing generative AI technologies like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and similar products.

Reuters earlier reported that Nvidia, the U.S. semiconductor designer, had designed a chip called the A800 that reduced some capabilities of the A100 to make the A800 legal for export to China.

On Tuesday, the company confirmed that it has similarly developed a China-export version of its H100 chip. The new chip, called the H800, is being used by the cloud computing units of Chinese technology firms such as Alibaba Group Holding, Baidu and Tencent Holdings, a company spokesperson said.

U.S. regulators last fall imposed rules to slow China’s development in key technology sectors such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence, aiming to hobble the country’s efforts to modernize its military.

A chip industry source in China told Reuters the H800 mainly reduced the chip-to-chip data transfer rate to about half the rate of the flagship H100.

The Nvidia spokesperson declined to say how the China-focused H800 differs from the H100. Nvidia said its 800 series products are compliant with export control regulations, the report said.