With the announcement of “harsher” export restrictions on NVIDIA’s AI-based GPUs in China, the US Government has opted for immediate implementation, portraying the importance of the new trade policy.
US Believes China Will Gain a Military Edge Through AI, Plans to Immediately Restrict Exports of NVIDIA’s AI GPUs
It was reported a few days ago that the Biden administration is “influenced” by the huge AI developments in China, and wants to thwart it through a new wave of curbs. According to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the sanctions are in place to hinder the “military” growth of China through artificial intelligence applications, and the actions taken in no way are directed towards the “Chinese economy”. However, the US doesn’t look to wait here, since it has directed NVIDIA to stop AI GPU exports immediately, which is surprising considering companies are given a “periodic cushion” to satisfy ongoing orders.
On October 23, 2023, the United States Government informed Nvidia […] that the licensing requirements of the interim final rule [concerning AI and HPC processors] dated October 18, 2023, applicable to products having a ‘total processing performance’ of 4800 or more and designed or marketed for datacenters, is effective immediately, impacting shipments of the Company’s A100, A800, H100, H800, and L40S products.
-NVIDIA SEC Filing
While the change in trade policy does hold disappointment for the involved parties, one thing to notice is that NVIDIA hasn’t mentioned the GeForce RTX 4090 in the SEC filing.
A Word On The GeForce RTX 4090 Ban In China
There have been debates in the industry regarding the potential inclusion of NVIDIA’s flagship Ada GPUs, but my take here is that the GeForce RTX 4090 might get an exemption, given that the documents disclosed by the US Government reveal that products not designed for data center applications aren’t included in the new ECCN 3A090 policy. Hence the GPU in question might get excluded, but that is all rumors for now, and we expect official disclosure regarding it soon.
— I_Leak_VN (@I_Leak_VN) October 25, 2023
It is clear that “BIS excludes from ECCN 3A090 ICs that (1) are not designed or marketed for use in data centers, and (2) do not have a ‘total processing performance’ of 4800 or more (see Note 2). ” 4090 is not a Data Center product. Even if it might meet the 4800 standard,…
— MEGAsizeGPU (@Zed__Wang) October 25, 2023
The new US policy will definitely have a negative impact on the rapidly growing Chinese AI markets. China will be blocked from accessing NVIDIA’s H800s and A800s, which were already cut-down variants previously developed by NVIDIA to comply with the US trade policies. Since access to high-end H100s was already put to a halt, the change in US policy will certainly prevent the growth of AI markets in China, given that the government is also able to cater to the “loopholes” in their policy, which is a primary reason why China’s AI industry is currently in the dominant position that it shouldn’t have been. However, NVIDIA themselves are seeing the decision as a “negative impact” on financial results.
We comply with all applicable regulations while working to provide products that support thousands of applications across many different industries,” an Nvidia spokesperson told CNBC. “Given the demand worldwide for our products, we don’t expect a near-term meaningful impact on our financial results.”
-NVIDIA Rep to CNBC
The involvement of the tech industry in political warfare is something disappointing to see since it hinders innovation and large-scale growth of the influenced nations. We do hope that the US-China conflict eases down in the near future.
News Source: Benchlife