US government bans NVIDIA from selling chips to China and Russia

The US government introduced and immediately began enforcing a new rule for chip makers. Such a rule restricts the export of processors used in supercomputers and artificial intelligence for Russia and China.

The information was revealed by NVIDIA on a SEC document (US Securities and Exchange Commission). In this document, the government informs the company about the new license requirement that affects one of its current GPUs (A100) and one of its upcoming (H100) GPUs, designed to accelerate machine learning tasks.

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The government has apparently indicated to NVIDIA that the new license requirement will address the risk that the processors in question could be used for military purposes by any country. As observes the The New York Timesartificial intelligence and machine learning are used for various applications, among them the weapons development and surveillance. A spokesperson for the US Commerce Department told Reuters:

While we are not in a position to describe specific policy changes at this time, we are taking a comprehensive approach to implementing necessary additional actions related to technologies, end uses and end users to protect US national security and foreign policy interests.

The government also plans hamper China’s ability to make chips with a current generation of transistors called FinFETs. This will prevent access to the equipment needed to manufacture these chips. FinFET designs have been commonplace for years and are currently found in the latest smartphone and server processors.

This requirement comes on the heels of another export control rule issued in mid-August. this rule prevents China from accessing advanced chip design softwareneeded to produce the next generation processors.

Decision could affect NVIDIA revenue

NVIDIA A100 GPU can no longer be exported to China and Russia

NVIDIA admitted that the restriction could hamper the completion of development of the H100 chip, which is being developed partially in China. The company no longer sells its products in Russiabut expects to earn about $400 million from sales to Chinese companies in the third quarter of 2022.

This revenue could be used for future product development. THE chip maker could lose all those potential sales if its Chinese customers refuse to buy its alternative offerings or if the government refuses to grant licenses to its biggest customers.

THE OMG also confirmed that it received a similar notification from the US for its line of GPUs designed to perform tasks related to artificial intelligence. But a spokesperson told Reuters that while the new license requirement prevents the company from exporting its MI250 chips to China, it does not believe it will have a major impact on its business.

Sources: protocol and Reuters

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