China Unveils RTX 4090 Secret Modification to Bypass Sanctions

Chinese enterprises are undertaking a mass transformation of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 video cards into specialized accelerators for artificial intelligence. This decision comes in response to US sanctions that prohibit the supply of high-performance equipment to China. The re-profiling of the video cards follows a ban on the export of NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel products designed for artificial intelligence to China. NVIDIA had previously found loopholes in the law by creating less powerful accelerators to bypass the export restrictions, but recent changes in the law have rendered this strategy invalid. As a result, the GeForce RTX 4090, known for its advanced gaming performance, has become scarce in the world market, partially due to large-scale purchases by China. In Russia, for example, the prices for these cards are significantly exceeding $2000.

Chinese enterprises are now dismantling these video cards, removing cooling systems and other key components to convert them into more compact and effective accelerators for servers. A new printed circuit board, specifically designed for this purpose, provides a second life for the ad102 graphic processors and gddr6x memory. These modified accelerators undergo thorough testing, including benchmark and AI application checks, before being distributed throughout the country. The components remaining after modification, such as printed circuit boards and cooling systems, are sold at reduced prices for use in repairs.

China’s actions, aimed at bypassing US sanctions and creating a domestic market for modified AI accelerators, have resulted in a global deficit and price increase for GeForce RTX 4090. It is expected that this situation will lead to changes in the global video card market.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.