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Nvidia Reportedly Asks TSMC to Rush Lucrative GPU Orders Before US-China Sanctions Bite

H100 GPU
(Image credit: Nvidia)

According to a report published by a Taiwanese business journal, Nvidia is seeking to fast-track some high-end GPU orders. The reasoning behind the need for speed is that Nvidia wishes to fulfill some lucrative Ampere A100 and Hopper H100 GPU orders to China before the US-imposed sanctions kick in. If the rumors published by UDN are true, these ‘super hot runs’ will create a welcome lump of revenue for Nvidia and propel TSMC’s Q4 revenues to new highs.

Nvidia is naturally keen to fulfill orders for its high-end, high-margin GPU accelerators. Key customers in China won’t be reachable by the green team in the near future, as the US has imposed sanctions on high-end AI chips. However, to give US tech firms time to adjust, the US government will allow for a grace or transition period. UDN’s report suggests that A100 chips will be able to be bought by Chinese companies until March of 2023, while the newer architecture H100 chips will be purchasable by Chinese companies until September of next year.

The UDN report says that TSMC has a special program to help out time-pressured customers with a ‘super hot run.’ With this rush order between TSMC and its customer negotiated (it clearly won’t be cheap) the order to delivery time can be basically cut in half. That means Nvidia’s order for a new batch of A100 and/or H100 GPUs can be delivered in two to three months, rather than in five to six months, according to the source. Moreover, the first batches of completed rushed orders will be delivered to Nvidia starting from the end of October at the earliest.

A100 GPU and DGX A100

(Image credit: Nvidia)

With powerful GPUs from Nvidia facing a ban on sales to China, readers won’t be surprised to hear that Nvidia DGX systems packing these GPUs will also be restricted. That makes sense, but the logic behind the buffer periods given to companies like Nvidia to continue selling high-end chips to China (for a year beyond the sanction implementation date) will be strongly questioned if China makes any questionable use of the technology.

There have been a few gloomy reports regarding the semiconductor business recently. Tech industry disruptions like the Ethereum merge, EVGA’s withdrawal from the AIB market, and the general macroeconomic malaise from the forces of looming recession are particularly bad for the GPU market. Thus the GPU industry looks like it will enter the doldrums unless something surprising or special happens to inspire customers to rush out and buy all the latest and greatest offerings. Will we see something special from Nvidia or AMD soon? We should know much more on the Nvidia front very shortly, as GTC is happening this week, and specifically, the company has scheduled a GeForce Beyond broadcast for tomorrow.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • plateLunch
    I thought Jensen Huang was from Taiwan? Anything for a buck, I guess.
    Reply
  • emike09
    They're just rushing to get cards sold before they ruin their reputation even more. Really not happy about their mistreatment of EVGA and other AIB partners.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    emike09 said:
    Really not happy about their mistreatment of EVGA and other AIB partners.
    unless rest of em do soemthign extreme nothing will come from the evga thing.


    They already sell their own gpu's.
    and $ speaks...so evga's allocation is $$ for other brands.
    Reply
  • semitope
    Something's got to be wrong with that. The reason for the sanctions is national security. Rushing more of the supposedly dangerous chips to china would be an attempt to undermine national security for profit.
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    semitope said:
    Something's got to be wrong with that. The reason for the sanctions is national security. Rushing more of the supposedly dangerous chips to china would be an attempt to undermine national security for profit.
    Boy do I got a bridge to sell you... you think companies care about national security? Its profits over everything my friend.
    Reply
  • ikernelpro4
    plateLunch said:
    I thought Jensen Huang was from Taiwan? Anything for a buck, I guess.
    Spineless.

    Wouldn't be surprising if he never mentions Taiwan ever again for a few chinese yuan.
    Reply
  • upsetkiller
    What a bunch of hypocrites lol, nvidia selling gpus to china is not a matter of national security , just like crippling huawei (for now) was not a matter of national security, thats just the Us scared senseless over the shift of power of technology and trying to hold onto the top spot, all this does is accelerate it. NO corporation is concerned with anything other than a dollar , AMD demonstrated that with their pricing the moment they had a slight edge with zen 3 until alderlake forced their prices down and to release lower end stuff. Get off the high horse will you people ? Or are forum conspiracies all there is to your lives? Pathetic .
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    semitope said:
    Something's got to be wrong with that. The reason for the sanctions is national security. Rushing more of the supposedly dangerous chips to china would be an attempt to undermine national security for profit.

    Gaming the rules in a way that directly undermines their purpose will likely result in a backlash. Whether the backlash amounts to anything is something they probably thought about. They are probably right that the reaction will be so slow that the profits will be made before anything is done.
    Reply
  • dk382
    plateLunch said:
    I thought Jensen Huang was from Taiwan? Anything for a buck, I guess.
    If you think that's crazy, wait until you hear where TSMC is from. Nvidia can't force TSMC to do this rush order, they have to agree to it (and they're doing so)

    Maybe not everyone from Taiwan recognizes the country as being under as much threat as the US government and media would like us to believe.
    Reply
  • quadibloc2
    The purpose of the grace period was to allow shipping of chips that were part of orders that were already paid for, and partially delivered so that a refund was not possible. This kind of conduct from Nvidia is indefensible.
    Reply