Update: an NVIDIA spokesperson reached out to me shortly after this story went live, and said: "We are engaged with the U.S. government and, following the government's clear guidelines, are working to offer compliant data center solutions to customers worldwide".
Original story: US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has some fighting words for NVIDIA: don't ship China any of your AI GPUs, and that her department needs more funding to stop China from catching up on cutting-edge semiconductors.
During the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday, Raimondo said: "We cannot let China get these chips. Period. We're going to deny them our most cutting-edge technology". She added that she has a $200 million budget, referring to that $200M as "that's like the cost of a few fighter jets. Come on. If we're serious, let's go fund this operation like it needs to be funded".
Raimondo added: "I know there are CEOs of chip companies in this audience who were a little cranky with me when I did that because you're losing revenue. Such is life. Protecting our national security matters more than short-term revenue".
The US Commerce Secretary specifically called out NVIDIA, which has redesigned some of its AI GPUs -- like the new H20, L20, and L2 AI GPUs -- which the company redesigned to fit into the US government's stricter export rules. NVIDIA's new H20 AI GPU was meant to launch on November 16 but was recently delayed and is now months and months away from release.
- Read more: NVIDIA delays new H20 AI GPU shipments in to China, first chip designed after US sanctions
Raimondo warned: "If you redesign a chip around a particular cut line that enables them to do AI, I'm going to control it the very next day".