A Surprising Week For NVIDIA, For Better And Worse

Good News And Bad News Go ARM In Arm

NVIDIA has had quite a week, both announcing a partnership with ARM and discovering the grace period that the US Government gave them for sales of AI chips in China no longer exists.  There was already a limited ban blocking sales of specific AI chips to China, this month that ban was extended to encompass many more products.  NVIDIA was to be given a 30 day grace period but that has been revoked and they need to immediately cease sales of their A800, H800, and L40S GPUs in addition to the already banned A100 and H100.  Oddly the ban does not include the RTX 4090, which is capable of performing similar AI calculations.  This ban will also likely see sales of some chips from both AMD and Intel ceased.

On the other hand, NVIDIA also announced they have partnered with ARM to develop an ARM architecture capable of running a modern Windows OS.  The original attempt to run Windows on ARM did not go well, but NVIDIA have learned from their mistakes.  Since that Surface, NVIDIA has successfully designed a fair number of ARM based chips for consoles as well as their Jetson series of cards which suggests their second attempt could well pay off.  AMD is rumoured to be working on something similar, though it may not be intended to run Windows. 

This is bad news for Intel and Qualcomm, Intel saw it’s share price drop immediately after the news broke and it has taken some of the steam away from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit.  It is expected we shall see both mobile and PC parts announced today, but for businesses it is likely an ARM system using NVIDIA graphics is going to be a more attractive investment.

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