Biden’s chip restrictions to China part of larger effort

WASHINGTON, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Chip designer Nvidia Corp said this week the United States had told it to restrict exports to China of two computer chips for artificial intelligence work, the latest move in a broader government effort to stymie China. access to the most sophisticated semiconductors.

News of the letter to Nvidia, and a similar letter to rival AMD (AMD.O), follows an August Commerce Department announcement restricting exports of materials and software used to make new chips. generation, as well as recent reports from Reuters of other measures being considered that would make it much more difficult for China’s semiconductor industry to compete globally.

The U.S. advisory to chipmakers could cripple the ability of Chinese companies to do advanced work like image recognition and hamper Nvidia’s business in the country.

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While a Commerce Department spokesperson didn’t shed much light on the letters in a statement, he suggested it was part of a larger effort targeting China: “While we are not able to outline specific policy changes at this time, we are taking a comprehensive approach to implementing additional necessary actions related to technologies, end uses, and end users to protect the national security of the United States and the interests of foreign policy. »

As in the past, the agency said it wanted to prevent China’s access to technology that could be used “to fuel its military modernization efforts.”

Meanwhile, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the agency “pursues strategies such as ‘nearshoring’ and ‘friendshoring,’ to bring like-minded partners into our supply chains… As we rebuild our supply chains, we can’t depend on foreign countries that don’t share our values ​​for our critical chip components.”

In a decision interpreted as targeting China, the department in August adopted new export controls on technologies that support the production of advanced semiconductors and gas turbine engines that the United States says are essential to their national security. Read more

The checks include ECAD, a class of software tools used to validate integrated circuits or printed circuit boards “which can advance many commercial and military applications, including defense and communications satellites,” the director said at the time. department.

Shortly thereafter, Biden signed a bill aimed at boosting American competition with China’s science and technology efforts by subsidizing American chip manufacturing and increasing research funding. The law aims to “reduce reliance on vulnerable or overly concentrated foreign production for advanced and mature microelectronics”.

The United States is also considering limiting shipments of U.S. chipmaking equipment to memory chipmakers in China, including Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd (YMTC), four people familiar with the matter told Reuters, as part of bid to halt advances in China’s semiconductor industry. Read more

The crackdown, if approved, would involve banning the shipment of U.S. chipmaking equipment to factories in China that make advanced NAND chips.

Tensions between China and the United States over the tech sector deepened under Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, and have continued ever since. Reuters reported in July that the Biden administration was also considering restricting shipments to China of tools to make advanced logic chips, seeking to cripple China’s biggest chipmaker, SMIC (0981.HK). Read more

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Reporting by Chris Sanders Editing by Alistair Bell

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

. Explanation the restrictions Biden on the chips to China make part of a effort wide

. Bidens chip restrictions China part larger effort

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