Ai Chip Sales To China Are Blocked As The US Intensifies Its Tech Crackdown

Ai Chip Sales To China Are Blocked As The Us Intensifies Its Tech Crackdown

As tensions bubble over Taiwan, the US has imposed a ban on Nvidia and AMD sales that marks a major escalation of its efforts to restrict China’s military technology capabilities

According to the chip designer Nvidia, US officials have told the company to stop exporting two of its top computing chips for artificial intelligence work to China, a move that could seriously hamper the ability of Chinese firms to do advanced work such as image recognition.

On Wednesday, Nvidia said that the ban, which affects both its A100 and H100 chips, which are designed to speed up machine learning tasks, could impede the development of the H100, the company’s flagship chip that was announced earlier this year.

The company said that US officials told it the new rule “will address the risk that the covered products may be used in, or diverted to, ‘military end uses’ or ‘military end users in China that are not in compliance with the existing rule.”

Upon being asked for comment, the US Department of Commerce refused to reveal what new criteria it has laid out for AI chips that are no longer able to be shipped to China, but instead said that it is reviewing its China-related policies and practices in order to “keep advanced technologies out of the wrong hands”.

In spite of the fact that we are not in a position to outline specific policy changes at this time, a spokesperson for the department told Reuters that they are taking a comprehensive approach to implementing any additional actions necessary to protect US national security and foreign policy interests in relation to technologies, end-uses, and end-users.

There is no doubt that this announcement signals a major escalation of the US crackdown on China’s technological capabilities as tensions bubble over the fate of Taiwan, where chips are manufactured for Nvidia, AMD, Qualcomm, and most of the other major chip makers.

It has been reported by Reuters that rival AMD has received new license requirements that will prevent its MI250 artificial intelligence chips from being exported to China, but it believes that it will not be affected by similar requirements for its MI100 artificial intelligence chips.

If Chinese organizations do not have access to American chips from companies such as Nvidia and AMD, they will not be able to carry out this kind of advanced computing which is used for image and speech recognition, among many other tasks, in a cost-effective manner.

The use of image recognition and natural language processing is common in consumer applications, such as smartphones, that can answer queries and tag images.

In addition to their civilian use, they also have military uses such as scouring satellite images for weapons or bases and filtering digital communications in order to gather intelligence.

In its quarterly earnings report, Nvidia said it had booked $400 million in sales of the affected chips to Chinese firms this quarter, which could be lost if Chinese companies do not opt for alternative products from the company.

According to the company, it intends to apply for exemptions from the rule, but “no assurances” can be given that the exception will be granted by US officials.