Nvidia’s CEO Plans Trip to Meet China Executives Despite US Curbs | Tech News

Nvidia’s CEO Plans Trip to Meet China Executives Despite US Curbs

Nvidia Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang is heading to China to meet with tech executives in the world’s biggest chip market, despite rising tensions between Washington and Beijing, according to people familiar with the matter.

| Updated on: Jun 01 2023, 07:46 IST
5 fastest supercomputers in the world: NVIDIA DGX GH200, Frontier system, and more
1/6 The NVIDIA DGX GH200 AI Supercomputer combines Grace CPU and Hopper H100 GPU, designed particularly for AI models with an output of 1 Exaflop/s. NVIDIA says that this supercomputer will be able to churn out AI models within weeks, instead of months. It should be noted that this supercomputer hasn’t yet been ranked by the Top500 Project, an organization that lists the most powerful and fastest supercomputers in the world. (NVIDIA)
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2/6 In the list of the world’s fastest supercomputers that was released recently, at the first position is the Frontier system which is kept at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA. With 8,699,904 cores, the computer clocked a Rmax PFlops of 1,194, which is more than double the system which came in second. The system consumes a power of 22,703 kW to run. (ORNL)
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3/6 The second position has been taken by Supercomputer Fugaku which has been kept at the RIKEN Center for Computational Science in Japan. With 7,630,848 cores, it was able to clock a Rmax PFlops of 442.01. It held the top position from June 2020 to November 2021 but was dethroned by Frontier in the next list. (RIKEN)
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4/6 Lumi gets the third position. The supercomputer is kept at EuroHPC/CSC in Finland. The system entered the list for the first time in June 2022 and directly made its place in the third slot, which it has still managed to hold on to. It has managed to secure an HPL score of 309.1 Pflops. (LUMI)
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5/6 The fourth position has been taken by Leonardo and is kept at EuroHPC/CINECA in Italy. It reached the fourth position six months ago after receiving an upgrade and now boasts of an HPL score of 239 Pflops.  (Leonardo)
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6/6 Summit, an IBM Power System, has been placed in the fifth position. It is also placed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA. With 2,414,592 cores, it has registered an HPL score of 148.60 PFlops. (IBM)
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Signage for Nvidia Corp. during the Taipei Computex expo in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. The trade show runs through June 2. (Bloomberg)

Nvidia Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang is heading to China to meet with tech executives in the world's biggest chip market, despite rising tensions between Washington and Beijing, according to people familiar with the matter.

Huang, who headlined a trade show in Taiwan this week, plans to travel to China for the first time in years in June, said the people, who asked not to be identified because his schedule is private. Companies on his itinerary include gaming leader Tencent Holdings Ltd. and TikTok-owner ByteDance Ltd., one of the people said.

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Nvidia is emerging as a critical player in the booming field of artificial intelligence, but its position in China has been complicated by geopolitics. US sanctions unveiled by the Biden administration last year prevent the semiconductor company from selling its most advanced AI chipsets to Chinese customers, including Tencent and ByteDance.

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Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia, which gets about a fifth of its revenue from China, quickly retooled its lineup after the ban to create new chips for the Chinese market that it says are compliant with the restrictions. Nvidia's chipsets are considered the gold standard for training AI systems, like the large language model behind ChatGPT.

Huang, 60, is hardly alone in courting Chinese customers. He joins a growing list of corporate chieftains taking advantage of China's post-Covid reopening to visit the world's No. 2 economy, including Apple Inc. 's Tim Cook and billionaire Elon Musk. Despite a pandemic-era downturn, China remains a key market for many of the world's biggest companies and many economists expect growth to re-accelerate over the course of 2023.

Huang has rocketed to celebrity status — at least in tech circles — over the past week. Nvidia forecast booming demand for AI chips that pushed its market valuation to $1 trillion on Tuesday, turning it into the first chipmaker to surpass that mark. At events in Taiwan this week, Huang was mobbed by the media and fans seeking selfies with the CEO.

Nvidia retreated from the $1 trillion milestone on Wednesday, with its shares falling as much as 4% to $385.01. As of 12:02 p.m. in New York, its market valuation stood at $954.9 billion.

Executives from Chinese customers including Tencent have played down concerns that US chip sanctions will cripple their ability to keep pace with AI development globally. Many executives argue that they can make up for the loss of performance in part by employing more chips, though that could inflate costs.

Also on Huang's itinerary in China are EV makers Li Auto and BYD Auto, as well as Xiaomi Corp., a smartphone producer that's moving into electric vehicles, one person said. Huang hasn't finalized his plans and details of his visit could change, the people added. A Li Auto representative declined to comment. Spokespeople for BYD and Xiaomi didn't respond to a request for comment, nor did representatives for Alibaba, Tencent and ByteDance. An Nvidia representative declined to comment.

Nvidia was co-founded in 1993 by Huang, who still runs the company. It proved more successful than its peers at developing chips that turn computer code into the realistic images that computer gamers love, and rode out a wave of consolidation that saw its rivals acquired, bankrupted or merged into larger companies. Its processors are now the chips of choice for training and hosting AI services, which require immense computational power to crunch data.

Its shares have soared since last week when it gave an AI-fueled sales forecast that shattered Wall Street's estimates. The stock continued to gain Tuesday after announcing several new AI-related products over the weekend that touch on everything from robotics to gaming to advertising and networking. Huang also unveiled an AI supercomputer platform that will help tech companies create their own versions of ChatGPT. Cathie Wood, whose flagship ARK Innovation ETF fund cut its holding in Nvidia in January, warned in a Bloomberg Television interview that the chip industry's boom-bust cycles pose risks.

Huang unveiled a series of new AI products on Monday at the Computex trade show in Taiwan this week. The wide-ranging lineup included a new robotics design, gaming capabilities, advertising services and a networking technology.

With assistance from Chunying Zhang, Vlad Savov, Danny Lee, Debby Wu and Linda Lew.

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First Published Date: 01 Jun, 07:46 IST