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31 Aug, 2023 10:26

US expands microchip blacklist – Reuters

The ban reportedly targets unnamed countries in the Middle East
US expands microchip blacklist – Reuters

The US has expanded the list of nations targeted by its latest ban on supplies of artificial-intelligence chips produced by Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), allegedly adding several Middle East states to its semiconductor blacklist, Reuters reported on Thursday. 

According to an Nvidia regulatory filing seen by the news agency, the curbs that affect its A100 and H100 chips –designed to speed up machine-learning tasks– won’t have any “immediate material impact” on the company’s results. 

AMD, which has received a formal letter directing similar restrictions, also envisages no material impact on its revenue, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. 

Neither Nvidia nor AMD have specified which countries are the latest to be affected by Washington’s export restrictions. 

Last September, the US Department of Commerce tightened its curbs on exports to China of semiconductors used for artificial intelligence, as well as chip-making tools. 

The measures were first introduced in 2015 amid competition between the world’s two largest economies for domination in key technologies, including semiconductors. China has been lagging behind the US in chip development, with its largest chipmaker SMIC aiming to wean itself off foreign technology. 

US major producers of semiconductors Nvidia, AMD and Intel have since all disclosed plans to create less powerful AI chips that can be exported to the Chinese market. 

Nvidia, which gave no reason for the new restrictions in its latest filing, last year said that US officials informed them the exports rule “will address the risk that products may be used in, or diverted to, a ‘military end use’ or ‘military end user’ in China.”

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