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Tencent says has Nvidia AI chip stockpile however searching for to purchase home

Tencent says has Nvidia AI chip stockpile however searching for to purchase home


HONG KONG, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Chinese language know-how large Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) on Wednesday mentioned it has a big stockpile of AI chips from U.S. maker Nvidia (NVDA.O), however that broadened U.S. restrictions on high-end chip gross sales to China will ultimately impression its cloud providers.

President Martin Lau, on an analyst name following Tencent’s third-quarter earnings report, mentioned the U.S. resolution final month to ban the export to China of extra chips utilized in synthetic intelligence (AI) will power the agency to make use of current inventory extra effectively and search domestically produced options.

Tencent has sufficient Nvidia chips to proceed improvement of its “Hunyuan” AI mannequin “for no less than a pair extra generations”, so the curbs is not going to have an effect on near-term AI functionality, Lau mentioned.

“We should determine methods to make the utilization of our AI chips extra environment friendly,” he mentioned. “And we can even attempt to search for home sources for these coaching chips.”

The brand new guidelines, nevertheless, will impression cloud providers the place Tencent sells computing energy to shoppers.

“We really feel that the chip ban does truly have an effect on our capability to resell (use of) these AI chips via our cloud providers,” he mentioned.

Nvidia dominates about 90% of the Chinese language AI chip market, that means increasing U.S. export restrictions have left Chinese language companies with AI ambitions scrambling to manage. Some have turned to home chipmakers akin to Huawei Applied sciences (HWT.UL), in a development analysts have referred to as a risk to Nvidia’s lead.

Reuters reported final week that Tencent rival Baidu (9888.HK) has ordered 1,600 Huawei Ascend 910B chips.

Tencent has a inventory of H800 AI chips that Nvidia developed particularly for China final yr in response to earlier export curbs – however the brand new guidelines cowl these too.

It mentioned one strategy to finest utilise its H800 chips is to order them for essentially the most essential a part of AI mannequin improvement, which is the coaching of the mannequin.

“We’ll attempt to see whether or not we will offload a whole lot of the inference functionality to lower-performance chips in order that we will retain nearly all of our high-performance AI chips for coaching functions,” Lau mentioned.

Nvidia plans to market new China-bound AI chips, with an announcement on Nov. 16 on the earliest, trade e-newsletter SemiAnalysis reported final week.

The chips are geared up with most of Nvidia’s latest options for AI work however have lowered computing energy to adjust to the brand new guidelines, SemiAnalysis mentioned.

Nvidia declined to touch upon the report when contacted by Reuters.

Reporting by Josh Ye; Modifying by Jane Merriman and Christopher Cushing

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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