NVIDIA seems to have accelerated the production of its Hopper H100 & Ampere A100 GPUs to supplement customers in China prior to the chip ban.
NVIDIA Allegedly Places Huge Order at TSMC To Accelerate Hopper H100 & Ampere A100 Production To Meet GPU Demand Prior To China Chip Ban
Last month, the US Government announced its plans to restrict NVIDIA from selling its GPUs to China citing that these are products and chips that could potentially have a ‘military end use’ or ‘military end user’. This isn’t the only restriction imposed on NVIDIA during this year as the US Government has also banned sales of chips by NVIDIA in Russia and Belarus citing the very same reasons. This could result in at least a $400 million in revenue decline in the upcoming quarter and things aren’t looking great for the green team.
However, based on reports from Chinese financial outlets, it looks like NVIDIA will be giving a buffer period in which it could still supply and meet the demand of its customers in China. As per Money UDN, it is reported that this buffer period will only last till next year after which NVIDIA cannot sell its Ampere A100 and Hopper H100 GPUs in China. An alternative will be provided in the form of older or lower-end GPUs but the higher-end chips won’t make their way to China.
The report states that NVIDIA can continue sales of Ampere A100 GPUs until March 1st, 2023 and all new orders have to be placed till 1st September 2023. The NVIDIA Hopper H100 GPUs can also be supplied through Hong Kong before 1st September 2023 so it looks like there’s at least 1 year of time given to customers to finalize their orders with NVIDIA. The orders will be fulfilled within 2-3 months starting with the latest batch of GPUs compared to the 5-6 months it took previously.
But with the imminent China chip ban, the demand for these GPUs is going to go up by a huge margin. While NVIDIA has its Ampere A100 GPUs ready for production on the TSMC 7nm node, its Hopper H100 isn’t in enough quantities to fulfill the demand of US customers. As such, NVIDIA has allegedly decided to place an urgent order to TSMC for increased allocation of 7nm & 5nm wafers for its Ampere A100 and Hopper H100 GPUs. This will most definitely come at an increased cost & the only way NVIDIA can recoup this huge investment is by increasing the selling price of all GPUs that they are selling to China. There are already reports of price hikes on the existing H100 & A100 stock coming in from mainland China.
NVIDIA and TSMC have not yet commented on this story but we will make sure to keep this piece updated with new information as soon as it is available.