AMD Plans Cut Down Instinct AI Accelerators For China To Comply With US Guidelines

HomeHardwareAMD Plans Cut Down Instinct AI Accelerators For China To Comply With US Guidelines
AMD Plans Cut Down Instinct AI Accelerators For China To Comply With US Guidelines

AMD wants to compete with NVIDIA and others in China by offering scaled-down AI GPUs to circumvent US regulations.

AMD finally realizes potential of AI industry in China, intends to enter through stripped-down GPUs and accelerators

During the recent Q2 earnings call, AMD CEO Lisa Su highlighted the importance of AI to the company and acknowledged the huge demand from China. AMD's data center revenues for the previous quarter accounted for the largest share, and it is expected that the company will shift its focus towards artificial intelligence in the coming quarters. However, the biggest obstacle behind this move is the presence of US sanctions, which prevent companies like AMD and NVIDIA from doing business in "hostile" nations like China.

AMD currently uses the Instinct MI250 and the upcoming MI300 in its advanced AI GPU arsenal, which has up to 153 billion transistors and 192 GB of HBM3 memory. While AMD cannot sell the MI300 in China, the company plans to develop downgraded variants to comply with US guidelines. Here's what AMD's CEO has to say about it:

China is a very important market for us, certainly across our portfolio, as we certainly think about the accelerator market. Of course, our plan is to be fully compliant with US export controls, but we believe there is an opportunity to develop products for our customers in China who are looking for AI solutions, and we will continue to work in that direction.

Dr. Lisa Su, AMD CEO (Q2 Earnings Call

NVIDIA is currently implementing this strategy, offering the A800 and H800 GPUs in China. These variants are also cut-downs of the original Hopper and Ampere GPUs, and they offer relatively lower performance. Despite this, the GPUs are selling like hotcakes and have inflated to a whopping $70,000. This move has undoubtedly worked for NVIDIA; AMD therefore intends to follow Team Green to capitalize on the AI hype in China. Intel has also started shipping its own cut-down variant of the Gaudi2 AI accelerators to China.

Although AMD did not reveal the specifications of the reduced variants to be offered, we believe it will involve the original Instinct branding but with a different name (similar to NVIDIA's case). It is also important to emphasize that one should not expect a press release or official documentation for such AI GPUs since they can circulate in the market at any time. AMD is getting fully into the AI game just like all the other tech giants that are going to follow NVIDIA's success. CEO Dr. Lisa Su said the market has a growth period of 5-10 years with a market operation exceeding 150 billion US dollars in the next few years.

GPU manufacturers are certainly betting their future on the AI hype. Companies like Intel have also entered the competitive market, and it won't be long before we see AMD take its share of the hype.

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