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Intel vs. Nvidia in the Battle for China’s AI Market

Daniel Kim Views  

▲ 지난해 12월 14일(현지시간) 팻 갤싱어 인텔 최고경영자(CEO)가 뉴욕에서 열린 인텔 'AI Everywhere'에서 차세대 AI(인공지능) 가속기인 가우디3를 공개하고 있다. 사진=뉴시스
▲ On December 14th last year, Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel Corporation, unveiled the next-generation AI accelerator, Gaudi3, at the Intel Corporation AI Everywhere event in New York. Photo=Newsis

Intel plans to launch an AI chip targeted at the Chinese market in response to the US-led semiconductor export sanctions against China.

On the 16th (local time), Reuters reported that Intel is planning to release two China-specific chips based on the latest AI chip, Gaudi 3, which was unveiled on the 9th, in June and September, respectively, citing a white paper recently posted on Intel’s official website.

The next-generation AI accelerator, Gaudi 3, is assembled by exploiting TSMC’s 5nm process and is equipped with 128GB of HBM2e memory.

At the Intel Corporation Vision 2024 held in Arizona, USA, on the 9th, Intel emphasized that it has significantly increased the number of tensor cores from 24 to 64 and the computing power from 865 TFLOPS to 1835 TFLOPS, more than doubling compared to its predecessor Gaudi 2, while withholding specific information.

The products to be released specifically for China are HL-328 and HL-388, which include on-chip and high-bandwidth memory (HBM) similar to Gaudi 3. Still, their performance is expected to decrease due to export regulations.

Industry insiders predict that the performance of these chips will be similar to Nvidia’s China-specific chip H20, which was released in the first quarter.

Intel’s competitor, Nvidia, has also been releasing a succession of lower-performance chips for export to China since the US government tightened restrictions on the specifications of AI semiconductors that can be exported to China in October last year.

After the US government tightened restrictions on the specifications of AI semiconductors for export to China in October last year, Nvidia has released lower-performance chips in China since the first quarter, including H20.

Nvidia is expected to soon release another China-specific chip, L20 and L2, which have lower performance than H20.

Nvidia and Intel are debuting low-performance chips for China, intensifying the competition in China’s huge AI semiconductor market.

Therefore, the IT specialist media outlet The Register predicted that China would be thrilled with Intel’s AI chips.

They shared several clues that could help us guess how quickly the approved chip for China will operate, although the answer is unknown.

The media analyzed that HL-328 and HL-388 use two dies just like other Gaudi 3 variant models without changing the memory and cache configuration, and when using two dies instead of one, the performance density decreases, and the chip can reach 4800, which is a higher output limit of total processing performance (TPP).

As a result, Intel’s latest chip was observed to perform similarly to Nvidia’s H20, one of the fastest GPUs approved for sale in China.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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