US ramps up restrictions on AI chips exported to China, again
The Biden administration plans to implement new rules that will block the export of more AI chips to China.
The rules will prevent US chipmakers from selling semiconductors to China and are expected to expand on the current restrictions that were introduced last October.
The new restrictions aim to prevent the strengthening of China’s military using US chips and equipment.
Under the new rules, some AI chips that fall under current technical parameters will be blocked, while companies will be required to report the shipment of others.
Chips for consumer products like laptops will be exempt from the new restrictions, however.
Last year, NVIDIA, a chipmaker whose products are widely used to develop chatbots and AI systems, manufactured a less advanced version of one of its chips to circumvent current guidelines.
The new guidelines will limit the use of certain advanced datacentre AI chips, and introduce a “performance density” requirement to prevent similar circumventions in the future.
The updated regulations will accommodate for evolving technology. It will be mandatory for companies to inform the government about semiconductors that fall just below the recommended guidelines before exporting them to China.
The changes may also close a loophole that currently allows Chinese firms access to US AI chips through their overseas Chinese units.
Although the new rules aren’t expected to limit access to US or allied cloud computing services, the US government will still gather feedback on potential risks and strategies for mitigation.
These updates were shared with Beijing earlier this month as part of an initiative to stabilise the relationship between the United States and China.
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