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US ban on exports of advanced AI chips to hurt China’s access to tech

Restrictions by the US will stop AMD’s MI250 chip from being exported to China.

Efforts by the US government to restrict shipments of high-performance Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) chips to China contributed to growing tensions between the countries over technology and security. The chips are designed to run artificial intelligence applications and power data centers, and the restrictions would affect Chinese companies’ ability to use advanced technologies such as image and voice recognition. Nvidia’s A100 and H100 integrated circuits and AMD’s MI250 will be affected by the requirements.

The US recently stepped up efforts to stem the flow of advanced technology to China by banning the export of some advanced chips and tools by American chipmakers. The orders underscore deepening tensions between the two countries over access to advanced chip technology.

According to a Reuters report, some national security experts saw the US move as a long time coming. GPUs “were completely uncontrolled after China and after Russia, so in many ways I see this action as kind of a catch-up where controls probably should have been if we’re really serious about trying to slow China’s AI growth,” according to the The report quotes Emily Kilcrease, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

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Nvidia confirmed earlier Thursday that the restrictions would cover its A100 and upcoming H100 integrated circuits. AMD’s MI250 chip will also be affected by the new requirements. Chipmakers’ stocks plummeted after the announcement, and the Philadelphia semiconductor index fell 2.18 percent.

Nvidia later announced that US officials authorized it to fulfill orders for the chips through its Hong Kong office for a year.

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