After a series of sanctions against China’s semiconductor industry, the United States has resorted to the latest measures, that is, high-performance GPGPU computing cards for AI computing purposes are prohibited, A100 and H100 are banned from NVIDIA, and the highest-end MI250 computing cards are banned from AMD.
Such computing cards are generally reserved for AI training or reasoning. In China, the most common AI uses are surveillance cameras that can be seen everywhere on the road and can recognize faces, and visual recognition in other digital products or services. And natural language services, as well as automatic driving training for Chinese car factories, the rest are special uses such as military that are most targeted by the United States.
The news shocked the entire industry. Although the prohibition is for high-end computing cards for AI computing, it will not be too big if you simply calculate the proportion of revenue, and AMD, which has a smaller market share, has less impact, but the ban on such computing cards is just the beginning, and the follow-up may only be as long as Products related to high-performance computing must cooperate with US sanctions, and the impact will be great.
NVIDIA and AMD high-performance computing cards are banned from being sold
At the same time as the ban was implemented, NVIDIA CEO Huang Renxun also sent a letter to internal employees. He pointed out that even if high-performance computing cards are banned, NVIDIA can still meet customers’ computing needs through other products. There may still be many loopholes in the sanction method. For example, using consumer graphics cards to ship to China, and then giving special firmware or drivers to enable related computing functions, or giving customers more unlimited Lower specifications, or older versions of computing cards, can still meet the needs of Chinese customers to a considerable extent, but how long these loopholes can last is not optimistic.
At present, NVIDIA has communicated with the U.S. government and obtained permission to continue shipping, and most computing cards can still be shipped until March 2023.
In the short term, NVIDIA may be the most directly impacted industry. After all, its GPU computing card market share is extremely high, and its revenue share in the Chinese market also ranks among the top three. In addition, the unsalable graphics card inventory has led to a significant decrease in revenue. The stock price has continued to plummet, but in the long run, AMD’s situation may not be much better than NVIDIA’s.
Although AMD is less affected this time, it cannot ignore the possible impact of the expansion of the high-performance computing ban in the future. After all, its EPYC processor shipment and market share are getting higher and higher, and the acquired Xilinx also has a considerable impact. A large proportion of shipments are Chinese customers. If the US government expands the ban to most high-performance computing chips, AMD, which has just been reborn for a few years, may fall into the fire pit from the cloud again.
Intel also supplies similar computing cards. This wave has escaped disaster and may even benefit in the short term, but the possibility of being included in the embargoed product list in the future is not small, and Intel’s market share in server processors is still higher than AMD’s , the long-term impact is not expected to be too optimistic.
Of course, if the first-line downstream high-end computing products suffer, then the upstream supply chain will not be much better, and the foundry orders of TSMC’s high-performance computing products may be affected, and the proportion may not be less than 5%, while the surrounding carrier boards, Related supply chains such as motherboards and even server hosts will also be implicated.
As the geopolitical situation deteriorates, major players should be aware that not only high-performance computing, but most technology industries should prepare for the possibility that the global market may no longer include China.