NVIDIA CEO Calls Huawei A “Really, Really Good Company” Despite Process Technology Barriers Amidst Heated AI Competition In China

NVIDIA’s CEO Jensen Huang sees Huawei as a potential AI competitor in the Chinese markets, claiming that the firm is rapidly progressing in semiconductors.

Huawei’s AI Offerings Have Shaken Up NVIDIA’s Market Share in China, As Ascend Chips See Prioritization For Less-Intensive Tasks

Huawei is emerging as a direct “threat” to NVIDIA’s dominance in China’s AI markets, as the firm has made its AI solutions much more capable and compelling. Despite harsh regulations, Huawei has managed to create considerable strides in the tech market, particularly with the introduction of their own Kirin 9000 SoC, which set the tone for the firm’s direction in the semiconductor industry. Jensen Huang has appreciated Huawei’s astonishing progress, and here is what he had to say:

Question: Right. This isn’t data-center scale, but the Huawei Mate 60 smartphone that came out last year got some attention for its homegrown 7-nanometer chip.

Answer: Really, really good company. They’re limited by whatever semiconductor processing technology they have, but they’ll still be able to build very large systems by aggregating many of those chips together.

Jensen Huang (NVIDIA CEO) via Wired

For those unaware, Huawei is currently offering its Ascend 910 chip to AI clients in China, which is made on a 7nm process node and directly competes with NVIDIA A100 and A800 GPUs. The chip can reach around 80% Inference and 70% training performance of the NVIDIA A100 accelerator, but those are theoretical metrics where we are unaware of the actual on-ground performance. It was reported recently that Huawei has preferred the production of its AI chips over smartphone SoCs, which shows the extent of interest the firm is facing from its clients in China.

While Huawei does seem to be making some ground here, it is essential to note that the firm’s offerings are in no way near to NVIDIA’s products, and Chinese firms are only using Ascend chips for low-inferencing tasks, which means that Team Green is still on the safer side here. NVIDIA is also reportedly developing two new AI chips for Chinese markets, and they may target the low-to-mid AI performance segment in an attempt to wipe off Huawei’s “considerable” share in the markets, but this is yet to be seen.

News Source: WIRED

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