US government stops China's access to GAA chip tech and HBM memory, the keys to AI accelerators

The US government tightens restrictions on China's access to leading semiconductor tech: Gate-All-Around (GAA) tech, limits on HBM for AI accelerators.

1 minute & 30 seconds read time

The US government is considering further restrictions on China's access to chip technology required for AI, aiming at new hardware that's hitting the market: GAA (Gate-All-Around) technology and HBM, two key parts of AI chips.

US government stops China's access to GAA chip tech and HBM memory, the keys to AI accelerators 36

China would have its access to Gate-All-Around (GAA) transistor technology blocked, which is used to manufacture bleeding-edge chips, as well as access to High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), which comes in many forms: HBM3 has been powering NVIDIA's current-gen Hopper H100, while ultra-fast HBM3E is inside Blackwell B200, and HBM4 is coming shortly.

GAA nanosheet technology improves density while providing power and performance improvements, but it's only used on the most cutting-edge process nodes. Samsung has been using GAA technology with its 3nm node, Intel will use GAA in its upcoming Intel 20A node, and TSMC will use GAA with its upcoming A16 process node.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has repeatedly said that the US will use new restrictions to keep the most advanced AI out of Beijing's hands over "fears that it could give an edge to China's military," reports Reuters. Reuters adds that the Biden administration is "running against the clock" on issuing additional regulations before the November presidential election and "juggling which technologies to prioritize."

The new rules aren't finalized just yet, with industry officials criticizing the first version as "overly broad." However, it's still unclear whether the ban would restrict China's ability to develop its own GAA chips, or whether the US government could block overseas companies from selling their products to Chinese electronics manufacturers.

You know, kinda like the US demanding that ASML stop servicing its machines that have already been sold to China. We reported a few months ago that the Biden administration wanted the Netherlands-based ASML -- who makes the world's leading-edge High-NA EUV lithography machines -- to stop servicing equipment sold to Chinese companies.

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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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