U.S. chipmaker Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) has introduced a modified version of its advanced gaming chip, the GeForce RTX 4090 D, designed to adhere to U.S. export controls targeting China. This new chip, touted for its “quantum leap in performance, efficiency, and artificial intelligence-driven graphics,” is set to be available to Chinese customers starting in January, according to a Nvidia spokesperson.
Nvidia emphasized that the GeForce RTX 4090 D was meticulously crafted to fully comply with U.S. government export controls, and the company engaged extensively with U.S. authorities during its development. This launch follows the Biden Administration’s October introduction of export rules, which blocked the sale of two modified artificial intelligence (AI) chips created for the Chinese market (A800 and H800) and a top-of-the-line gaming chip (RTX 4090).
The announcement aligns with earlier speculation in November that Nvidia would unveil three new AI chips tailored for the Chinese market. However, as reported last month, Nvidia delayed the launch of one of these chips until the first quarter of the next year, and the other two have yet to appear on Nvidia’s China website.
Nvidia, with over 90% of China’s $7 billion AI chip market, faces increased competition from domestic firms like Huawei Technologies due to U.S. export restrictions. U.S. Commerce Secretary Raimondo clarified that Nvidia is permitted to sell AI chips to China, excluding those with the highest processing power.
In comparison to the banned RTX 4090, the China-focused RTX 4090 D reportedly performs “5% slower in gaming and creating,” as per the Nvidia spokesperson. The new chip is priced at 12,999 yuan ($1,842), making it 350 yuan ($50) more expensive than the second most advanced chip in the product series available to Chinese customers.
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