NVIDIA has reportedly reallocated the supply of its “China-Only” Ampere A800 AI GPUs, as they oversee an export restriction to hostile nations by the US.
NVIDIA Plans To Make A800 AI GPUs Available Globally, Providing AI-Focused Businesses An Additional Option After China Hit With US Ban
The news comes as the Biden administration implements a new set of “vigorous” curbs on China, aiming to thwart the rapid AI advancements in the region. China will be blocked from accessing NVIDIA’s H800s and A800s, which were already cut-down variants previously developed by NVIDIA to comply with the US trade policies.
Since access to high-end H100s was already put to a halt, the change in US policy will certainly prevent the growth of AI markets in China. However, GPU manufacturers were put under “hot waters” with this decision, and they are now seeing alternatives to clear out existing inventory through “indirect” retail channels.
“I expect they will sell out fairly quickly given the demand for Nvidia’s high-end AI GPUs,” said Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at Fremont, Calif.-based ASI. “Overall, the AI/ML market is still driving server growth across multiple markets, and we expect this to continue through 2024.”
It is being reported that NVIDIA has teamed up with its US-based partners such as PNY and the system integrator Colfax International to boost the sales of A800 AI GPUs, which were initially intended for Chinese markets only.
For a quick recap, the A800 is a stripped-down variant of the original A100 GPU, and the cut-downs were made in crucial features such as memory bandwidth and NVLINK speeds, which weren’t suitable for mainstream markets. However, ironically, NVIDIA is now advertising the GPU as the “ultimate workstation development platform for AI, data science, and high-performance computing”, in an attempt to grasp consumer interest.
PNY has started selling the NVIDIA A800 40 GB “Active GPU” in regions such as North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and India. It is important to note that the A800s were seen as a mere “alternative” to mainstream AI GPUs, however, given the demand in recent times from the AI industry, it is expected that NVIDIA’s decision to expand the availability of the A800 might be the right decision. They could prove to be a viable alternative for AI GPUs such as the H100s, which are under massive order backlog due to disruptions within the supply chain coupled with the immense demand from the industry.
The new US policy has definitely had a negative impact on global AI markets, but NVIDIA will be the biggest affectee since it holds 90% of the global AI market share. NVIDIA is reportedly facing a $5 Billion order cancellation due to the recent bans. To cater to this, Team Green plans on selling & diverting the supply of its “cut-down” AI GPUs such as the H800 and A800, to widen the scope of options available to global businesses, dependent on AI-focused components.
Such sorts of “workarounds” were expected, and judging by the current situations, the A800s are predicted to sell like “hotcakes” since NVIDIA was already booked well into 2024 and this just gives other AI companies an opportunity to grab a chunk of NVIDIA’s AI goldmine.
News Source: CRN