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US accelerated curb on AI chips to China, says NVIDIA

Written by Wed 1 Nov 2023

US export restrictions curbing the sale of high-end artificial intelligence chips to China came into effect on 23 October, according to NVIDIA. Implementation of these restrictions was said to be expedited, as regulators advanced the deadline.

Chip companies anticipated the US Commerce Department’s new restrictions, which were set to take effect on 16 November, 30 days after the Biden administration’s announcement on 17 October.

It is not known why the US Government decided to accelerate the implementation of the new restrictions. 

The new restrictions are aimed at preventing countries like China, Iran, and Russia from acquiring advanced AI chips like those designed by NVIDIA. They prohibit the sale of chips above a threshold of compute performance of connectivity. 

Both NVIDIA’s AI chips, the A800 and H800, are affected by the decision. These chips were customised for the Chinese market to meet previous export rules implemented in 2022. These chips were intentionally engineered to operate slightly below the restriction limit.

The NVIDIA A100, H100, and L40S chips are also impacted by the new curbs. NVIDIA said it will comply with all applicable regulations while working to provide products that support thousands of applications across many different industries.

“Given the demand worldwide for our products, we do not expect a near-term meaningful impact on our financial results,” said NVIDIA.

Intel and Advanced Micro Devices will likely feel the impact of the new restrictions as well. Intel started selling its Gaudi 2 Chip in China in July and is currently reviewing the regulations to assess potential consequences.

The Chinese Government revealed in September 2022 that China imported 47.6 billion chip units. This was a notable decrease from the 54.3 billion imported during the same period the previous year. This signified a significant drop for China, the world’s largest chip importer.

Written by Wed 1 Nov 2023

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