Chipmakers Nvidia and AMD have been notified by the United States Government for blocking the sale of advanced chips necessary for AI-related applications to Russia and China.
Nvidia said on Wednesday, August 31, that the company has been notified by the US government that the new licensing requirements affect the sales of its advanced line of server GPUs to Russia or China. AMD has also confirmed that it has received a similar notification from the US government relating to GPUs that are suited for AI-related computing, a report in Protocol said.
Nvidia had said that the restrictions are not on any specific chip but instead on a performance threshold, which is close to the company’s Nvidia A100 processors and AMD’s M1200 processors.
This comes as another sign that US is tightening the restrictions on access to technology and other resources to China. Under the Biden administration, the US Department of Commerce has implemented a new rule that could potentially block the export of chip design software that’s necessary to build the next generation of chips.
“While we are not in a position to outline specific policy changes at this time, we are taking a comprehensive approach to implement additional actions necessary related to technologies, end-uses, and end-users to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests," the department of commerce said in a statement.
Now China is a big market for Nvidia. According to an SEC filing cited in the Protocol report, blocking semiconductor sale to China could hurt the company by $400 million in quarterly sales. The company has said that it is working with customers in China to find a workaround. AMD, on the other hand, has a smaller market in the country and the restrictions may not hurt the company as badly.