US warns Nvidia about redesigning their AI chips for China
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warns Nvidia about redesigning its AI chips for China
The US government has implemented heavy export restrictions on China, preventing the country from accessing the world’s most powerful AI processors. So far, Nvidia has consistently worked around the United States’ regulations to continue exporting chips to China. Now, the US’ Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has warned Nvidia to stop redesigning its chips for China. If you redesign your AI chips for China, the US will ban them.
Below are some excerpts of what Gina Raimondo had to say as part of a recent interview with Fortune.
I know there are CEOs of chip companies in this audience who were a little cranky with me when I did that because youâre losing revenue,â she said. âSuch is life. Protecting our national security matters more than short-term revenue.
If you redesign a chip around a particular cut line that enables them to do AI, Iâm going to control it the very next day,
on matters of national security, weâve got to be eyes wide open about the threat,
This is the biggest threat weâve ever had and we need to meet the moment.
When the US initially banned AI chip shipments to China, the company created new China-only chips that would allow them to curb US regulations. These chips were the A800 and H800. In October, the US issued a new ban that would prevent the sale of these chips, and all AI chips that surpassed a certain performance threshold. This included Nvidia’s gaming-focused RTX 4090.
Now, Nvidia have created new AI chips for China. This includes a rumoured China-only RTX 4090 D (Dragon) model. This new model will skirt the US’ newly imposed restrictions. Nvidia’s interests are at odds with the interests of the United States. Nvidia wants to secure as many sales as possible, and the US wants to curb China’s AI ambitions.
Currently, Nvidia and the US’ Department of Commerce is playing a cat a mouse game. Nvidia are creating new AI chips to curb the US’ regulations, and the US are updating their restrictions to ban these new chips. If Nvidia continues acting as they are, they will face tighter and tighter restrictions. This could end up restricting the sale of more gaming-oriented products in China. After all, ever Nvidia GeForce RTX GPU features AI accelerators.
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