US To Clarify AI Chip Export Restrictions ‘Soon’

Nvidia's Grace CPU Superchip. Image credit: Nvidia

White House official says US planning to clarify China export restrictions on AI chips from Nvidia, others ‘relatively soon’

The US may clarify its plans for a ban on exporting cutting-edge artificial intelligence chips to China “relatively soon”, a White House official has said.

Tarun Chhabra, an official with the National Security Council who focuses on technology issues, said letters sent to AI chip makers Nvidia and AMD in August were likely to be followed by broader regulations.

“They tend to be followed by a public rule or regulation, laying out a rationale and the full approach,” he said of the letters, speaking at the Brookings Institution, according to Reuters.

“I think we will be in a position to say more about that relatively soon.”

The White House. Image credit: US government nvidia chips
Image credit: US government

AI chips

The letters, which came to light in early September, ordered AMD and Nvidia to stop shipments of chips that could be used for applications such as natural language processing and nuclear weapons reasearch.

Rules could be officially formulated by the US Commerce Department as soon as this month, according to reports.

Nvidia has said the decision could mean a loss of $400 million (£395m) in sales of its advanced A100 and H100 artificial intelligence chips in its current fiscal quarter.

Nvidia GPUs account for some 95 percent of general-purpose GPUs in AI training systems, Lu Jianping, chief technology officer at Nvidia’s Chinese competitor Iluvatar Corex, told the South China Morning Post. Lu previously worked for Nvidia and Samsung Electronics.


The US restrictions are expected to affect China’s ability to develop sophisticated AI models.

Nvidia chief executive Jensen Huang said last month the letters specified a limit on the computing power of the chips as well as their interconnect speed, and Chabbra confirmed this in his remarks.

Taiwanese-American Huang late last month continued to present China as a growth opportunity and said he hopes China and the US can find “solutions” over US export controls.

“The friendship between China and the United States is beneficial to the world, and China is a great consumer of American-originated products,” he said. “China is also a critical part of the world supply chain.”