Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is among a field of “very formidable” competitors to Nvidia Corp in the race to produce the best artificial intelligence (AI) chips, Nvidia chief executive officer Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) said yesterday.
Huawei, Intel Corp and an expanding group of semiconductor start-ups pose a stiff challenge to Nvidia’s dominant position in the market for AI accelerators, Huang told reporters in Singapore.
Shenzhen-based Huawei has grown into China’s chip tech champion and returned to the spotlight this year with an advanced made-in-China smartphone processor.
“We have a lot of competitors, in China and outside China,” Huang said. “Most of our competitors don’t really care where I am. They want to compete with us everywhere we go.”
Questions about China were prominent during Huang’s visit to Singapore, where he met Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) to discuss the city-state’s strategy to compete in the global AI race.
However, the US has raised barriers on the company’s sales to China, further tightening China’s access to Nvidia’s AI chips in the middle of October.
China has historically accounted for about 20 percent of Nvidia’s sales and the company will continue to adhere with trade regulations “perfectly,” Huang said.
The company is to deliver a new set of products for the Chinese market that is in line with the latest rules coming from Washington, the 60-year-old executive added.
Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia does serve Chinese customers in Singapore, Huang said.
Among the biggest Chinese firms with a presence there are ByteDance Ltd (字節跳動), Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴).
Sales to customers in the city-state, including Chinese firms, accounted for about 15 percent of Nvidia’s revenue in the three months ended in October, a regulatory filing showed.
Singapore sees the expansion of its digital economy as instrumental to stimulating broader growth. It hosts less-advanced chipmaking factories operated by GlobalFoundries Inc and other global players. Nvidia’s go-to maker of AI accelerators Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) and NXP Semiconductors NV also run a joint venture in the country.
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