AMD's cut-down AI GPU for China market blocked by US government

AMD has been halted by the US Commerce Department, banning its AI processors from shipping to China, even though it was cut-down AI GPU.

2 minutes & 4 seconds read time

AMD has been stopped by a US government roadblock, where it was trying to sell cut-down AI GPUs to China, but stopped by the Commerce Department.

AMD's cut-down AI GPU for China market blocked by US government 205

Bloomberg reports that AMD "hit a US government roadblock in attempting to sell an artificial intelligence chip tailored for the Chinese market," and once again, the news is coming from "people familiar with the matter." AMD was hoping it wouldn't have issues receiving approval to sell the AI GPU to Chinese customers from the Commerce Deparment, but they were denied, according to people who "asked not to be identified because the situation is private".

This purported AI GPU featured lowered performance to what AMD sells outside of China, and was designed to meet the required US export restrictions, they said. US officials told AMD that the AI GPU was still too powerful, and that the company needed to obtain a license from Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security in order to sell it. Both AMD and the Bureau of Industry and Security declined to comment, so we don't know if AMD secured its license or not.

NVIDIA was recently culling its AI GPU shipments into China following US export restrictions, cutting down its AI GPUs into new SKUs that met the performance targets set by the US government. With AMD pushing into the AI GPU market more aggressively, it's being hit with the roadblocks it's experiencing now.

Bloomberg reports that the AMD AI GPU in question is the MI309, "according to the people," and it's also not known which Chinese customer was trying to buy AI GPUs from AMD. The report adds that this could've been a factor of influence on AMD getting a license to sell its AI GPUs to Chinese customers.

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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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