US government restricts NVIDIA H800, A800 AI GPUs to China, more 'vigorous' sanctions

The Biden administration puts its foot down with more 'vigorous' sanctions, starts blocking China-exclusive NVIDIA H800 and A800 GPUs from China.

1 minute & 19 seconds read time

The US Department of Commerce has announced new plans to prevent more AI GPUs from shipping to China, with the Biden administration implementing new rules to close up some of those loopholes after the US sanctions on China were placed on AI chips last year.

US government restricts NVIDIA H800, A800 AI GPUs to China, more 'vigorous' sanctions 809

The initial AI GPUs that were banned were the NVIDIA H100, the number one choice for any firm working on AI, while Chinese companies weren't restricted from buying cut-down NVIDIA GPUs in the form of the H800 and A800 AI GPUs. The US restrictions didn't apply to these GPUs, but the new rules are banning those lower-end AI GPUs as well.

NVIDIA won't be the only company affected, but Intel and AMD will feel a little pain from the latest additions to the US sanctions on AI GPUs shipping into China. Not only that, but senior Biden administration officials have eluded to plans to extend the list of semiconductor manufacturing equipment subject to US restrictions. Gaming consoles, smartphones, and other consumer products with high-end chips inside of them will remain unaffected by US sanctions.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said: "The updates are specifically designed to control access to computing power, which will significantly slow the PRC's development of next-generation frontier model, and could be leveraged in ways that threaten the U.S. and our allies, especially because they could be used for military uses and modernization". Raimondo added: "The fact is China, even after the update of this rule, will import hundreds of billions of dollars of semiconductors from the United States".

An NVIDIA spokesperson told CNBC: "We comply with all applicable regulations while working to provide products that support thousands of applications across many different industries. Given the demand worldwide for our products, we don't expect a near-term meaningful impact on our financial results".

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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