NVIDIA's new cut-down A800 GPU created because of US export controls to China

NVIDIA announces A800 Tensor Core GPUs in 40GB PCIe, 80GB PCIe, and 80GB SXM variants for the Chinese market, with NVLink bandwidth limited to 400GB/sec.

2 minutes & 1 second read time

NVIDIA has cut down its A100 Tensor Core GPU to meet the demands of US export controls to China, with the introduction of the new A800 Tensor Core GPU that is exclusive to the Chinese market.

The new NVIDIA A800 was revealed by Reuters and confirmed by an NVIDIA spokesperson who confirmed that the new NVIDIA A800 GPU went into production in Q3 2022, acting as "another alternative product" to the NVIDIA A100 GPU for customers in China.

NVIDIA's new A800 Tensor Core GPU specifications

NVIDIA's new A800 Tensor Core GPU specifications

The NVIDIA spokesperson told Reuters: "The NVIDIA A800 GPU, which went into production in Q3, is another alternative product to the NVIDIA A100 GPU for customers in China. The A800 meets the U.S. Government's clear test for reduced export control and cannot be programmed to exceed it".

NVIDIA will be using its A100 Tensor Core GPU under a different name -- the A800 Tensor Core GPU -- in multiple variants for the Chinese market. This includes the NVIDIA A800 40GB PCIe, the NVIDIA A800 80GB PCIe, and the NVIDIA A800 80GB SXM variants. We're going by the official specifications of NVIDIA's new A800 Tensor Core GPU from Chinese companies, but we don't know things like GPU clocks per SKU.

Each of the new NVIDIA A800 Tensor Core GPUs will have varying amounts of VRAM, with the 40GB HBM2 variant offering 1.5TB/sec of memory bandwidth, the 80GB HBM2e (notice the small 'e') offering 1.9TB/sec of memory bandwidth, and finally, the A800 80GB SXM variant features 2TB/sec+ of memory bandwidth.

TDP changes between the new NVIDIA A800 Tensor Core GPUs are at 250W for the A800 40GB PCIe, 300W for the A800 80GB PCIe, and 400W+ for the A800 80GB SXM variant.

Wayne Lam, an analyst at CCS Insight said (based on the information Reuters provided): "The A800 looks to be a repackaged A100 GPU designed to avoid the recent Commerce Department trade restrictions. China is a significant market for NVIDIA and it makes ample business sense to reconfigure your product to avoid trade restrictions".

NVIDIA is doing around $400 million worth of sales in China each year, so the changes to its new A100 -- and now A800 Tensor Core GPUs -- are able to meet the strict regulations to get their silicon into the country.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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