June 16, 2024

The United States chipmaker Nvidia has unveiled a specialized gaming chip designed to align with U.S. export controls targeting China.

The newly launched GeForce RTX 4090 D is positioned as a groundbreaking product, promising advancements in efficiency, performance, and graphics powered by artificial intelligence.

This chip is slated to be accessible to Chinese customers starting in January, according to a spokesperson from Nvidia in communication with Reuters.

Nvidia’s New China-Compliant Chip

Highlighting the company’s commitment to compliance with U.S. government export controls, the spokesperson stated that the GeForce RTX 4090 D was developed with extensive engagement with U.S. authorities.

This announcement is significant as it marks Nvidia’s first official release of a China-focused chip since the introduction of export rules by the Biden Administration in October.

Reflecting on these export rules, two modified artificial intelligence (AI) chips, namely the A800 and H800, alongside the high-end gaming chip RTX 4090, were blocked for sale in the Chinese market.

Notably, Nvidia had previously hinted at the possibility of introducing three new AI chips for China around November 16 in response to the October export regulations.

However, a delay in the launch of one of these chips was reported last month, and the other two are yet to be featured on Nvidia’s China website. Meanwhile, Nvidia has been a dominant player, holding a market share of over 90% in China’s $7 billion AI chip market.

Analysts suggest that the U.S. export controls could create opportunities for domestic firms like Huawei Technologies to make inroads into the market.

Essentially, U.S. Commerce Secretary Raimondo clarified in a December 11 interview with Reuters that Nvidia is allowed to sell AI chips to China, apart from those with the highest processing power.

In terms of performance, the China-focused RTX 4090 D is reportedly 5% slower in gaming and creating compared to its banned counterpart, the RTX 4090. Priced at 12,999 yuan ($1,842), the RTX 4090 D carries a premium of 350 yuan ($50) over the second most advanced chip in the product series available to Chinese customers.

Nvidia’s Probable Plans for 2024

Rumors are circulating that Nvidia is gearing up to launch the RTX 4070 Super and RTX 4080 Super GPUs in early 2024. According to hardware leaker Kopite7kimi, known for their reliable track record on Nvidia hardware, the launch is expected at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2024, despite Nvidia not being officially listed as an exhibitor.

However, the company often uses the event for press briefings and showcasing its latest gaming technology. Notably, the RTX 4080 Super is rumored to come with 20GB of VRAM, and both GPUs are anticipated to feature a higher memory bus compared to their predecessors.

Specifically, the RTX 4080 Super might have a 320-bit memory bus, while the RTX 4070 Super could launch with a 256-bit memory bus. However, these details remain speculative until Nvidia officially announces the cards.


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