US government warns Nvidia against circumventing China export restriction by redesigning...

midian182

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In context: Each time the US has brought out new rules prohibiting the export of advanced chips to China, Nvidia has created less-powerful versions to circumvent the restrictions. But US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has warned Team Green that if it keeps up this practice, she will ban the new chips "the very next day."

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday (via BNN Bloomberg), Raimondo said her department needed more funding to address China's "rapidly growing" semiconductor markets to deny the country the most cutting-edge technology from the US.

"I have a $200 million budget. That's like the cost of a few fighter jets. Come on," she said. "If we're serious, let's go fund this operation like it needs to be funded."

In September last year, the US further tightened sanctions against China by instructing Nvidia and AMD to stop selling their high-performance AI-focused GPUs to the country (and Russia), a restriction aimed at preventing the US companies' top hardware from being used by or diverted to military users and finding their way into the nation's supercomputers. Nvidia's response was to create cut-down versions of the A100, A100X, and H100 chips: the A800 and H800.

The US government announced updates to its export restrictions in October, which meant the China-specific A800 and H800 chips and even the RTX 4090 were prohibited from export to countries of concern. Nvidia's response was, once again, to create several new products – the HGX H20, L20, and L2 – that complied with the latest restrictions. The company is also rumored to be readying an RTX 4090 D for the Chinese Market with a lower TPP (Total Processing Performance) to comply with the US limitations.

Raimondo isn't happy about Nvidia simply redesigning its chips to circumvent US export rules, threatening that "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."

With around 25% of Team Green's data center revenue coming from China, Nvidia has warned about the impact these bans will have on its bottom line. CFO Colette Kress previously said they would also result in a permanent loss of opportunities for the US to compete and lead in the Chinese market.

Raimondo acknowledged the financial impact the export bans have on companies, adding that there are more important things than money. "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," she said. "Such is life. Protecting our national security matters more than short-term revenue."

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Bhahahahahhaha........

"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."

Nvidia: Hold my beer!, Moving HQ to Taiwan next move.
 
This is total BS from the government. If X is bad, but anything under X is OK, now you're trying to flex that anything under X is also not OK, but only when we say so. By his definition the 4080 should be banned, because it undercuts the 4090 ban. And the 4070. Because that undercuts the 4080.

Just grow the balls to ban all GPU sales to china or drop this pathetic façade already. This cat and mouse playing is ridiculous.

You're also not "protecting" anything. You're trying to stop china from absorbing the AI market that the west desperately wants to control, and limit, to fit their needs. Since the GPUs are all made in china, little is stopping them from "appropriating" some through back channels. Eventually China will develop their own tech, and then the west will find themselves on the back foot of tech development.
 
This is total BS from the government. If X is bad, but anything under X is OK, now you're trying to flex that anything under X is also not OK, but only when we say so. By his definition the 4080 should be banned, because it undercuts the 4090 ban. And the 4070. Because that undercuts the 4080.

Just grow the balls to ban all GPU sales to china or drop this pathetic façade already. This cat and mouse playing is ridiculous.

You're also not "protecting" anything. You're trying to stop china from absorbing the AI market that the west desperately wants to control, and limit, to fit their needs. Since the GPUs are all made in china, little is stopping them from "appropriating" some through back channels. Eventually China will develop their own tech, and then the west will find themselves on the back foot of tech development.
I don't think you understand. it's not about banning everything, it's about banning enough to keep China's tech below the US. The list of banned GPUs also includes professional GPUs such as the H100, A100, L40, L40S which makes it incredibly hard for China to make top of the line AI servers (the focus is on "AI performance" for the bans).

Here's the full list from NVIDIA:
NVIDIA H800
NVIDIA H100
NVIDIA A800
NVIDIA A100
NVIDIA L40S
NVIDIA L40
NVIDIA L30
NVIDIA L4
RTX 6000 Ada
RTX A6000
RTX 4090

AMD list:
MI210
MI300
 
I don't think you understand. it's not about banning everything, it's about banning enough to keep China's tech below the US. The list of banned GPUs also includes professional GPUs such as the H100, A100, L40, L40S which makes it incredibly hard for China to make top of the line AI servers (the focus is on "AI performance" for the bans).

Here's the full list from NVIDIA:
NVIDIA H800
NVIDIA H100
NVIDIA A800
NVIDIA A100
NVIDIA L40S
NVIDIA L40
NVIDIA L30
NVIDIA L4
RTX 6000 Ada
RTX A6000
RTX 4090

AMD list:
MI210
MI300
The list of banned GPUs now contains three sets of regulations on how much "AI" is enough to sell in china. Their attitude of "if you build a weaker card we'll ban that too" is BS. Instead of just issuing a blanket ban, the goernment will waste time and resources slowly lowering this limit while also wasting time and resources for GPU makers and board partners. There is no reason to do this other then chest thumping by insecure bureaucrats.

The H800 was created because the H100 was banned. Now they are banning the H800, so the H20 is being made. Now they want to ban the H20. Why? That limit was fine 2 weeks ago, but now its too much/ Utter BS.
 
And the only winner in all of this will be, ironically enough, China. These restrictions are forcing China to develop their own in-house silicon, and it's too late for the U.S. government to stop it. They might be a few years behind us, and they may never catch up completely, but they will still become effective competitors to western companies in near-state-of-the-art products at least.

More competition is good for the consumer, but from a geopolitical/strategic view I don't see how these sanctions have done the west any good, besides perhaps the ironic end result of putting more (non-western) options on the market for consumers in the long run.
 
The list of banned GPUs now contains three sets of regulations on how much "AI" is enough to sell in china. Their attitude of "if you build a weaker card we'll ban that too" is BS. Instead of just issuing a blanket ban, the goernment will waste time and resources slowly lowering this limit while also wasting time and resources for GPU makers and board partners. There is no reason to do this other then chest thumping by insecure bureaucrats.

The H800 was created because the H100 was banned. Now they are banning the H800, so the H20 is being made. Now they want to ban the H20. Why? That limit was fine 2 weeks ago, but now its too much/ Utter BS.
Nobody wants a blanket ban and it makes no sense militarily since the best equipment is needed to process the kind of data that they need to create new high tech AI weapons fast. It's all about slowing down China's development.

And yes, they are banning those GPUs because they were created to bypass the regulations.

Nvidia is trying to skirt the ban and people (aka those "insecure bureaucrats") aren't dumb enough to fall for their shenanigans. The US is closing exploitable loopholes after the initial set of bans.
 
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Nobody wants a blanket ban and it makes no sense militarily since the best equipment is needed to process the kind of data that they need to create new high tech AI weapons fast. It's all about slowing down China's development.

And yes, they are banning those GPUs because they were created to bypass the regulations.

Nvidia is trying to skirt the ban and people (aka those "insecure bureaucrats") aren't dumb enough to fall for their shenanigans. The US is closing exploitable loopholes after the initial set of bans.
Funny how compliance with the law is seen as bypassing it. Do you perhaps work for the ATF?
 
US Commerce Dept: Here are the rules.
US Chip maker: Ok, we are complying with the rules.
US Commerce Dept: WTF. You can't just follow the rules.

This is absurd.
 
Funny how compliance with the law is seen as bypassing it. Do you perhaps work for the ATF?
@Beerfloat this is for you too

It is seen as bypassing if the intent of the law is not being respected. Which is why they closed loopholes. You first have to look at why these regulations were implemented.

Nvidia can't self-regulate after being told to stop doing something? Then more regulation is needed. The US government made it 100% clear that they don't want this tech to be sold to China.
 
@Beerfloat this is for you too

It is seen as bypassing if the intent of the law is not being respected. Which is why they closed loopholes. You first have to look at why these regulations were implemented.

Nvidia can't self-regulate after being told to stop doing something? Then more regulation is needed. The US government made it 100% clear that they don't want this tech to be sold to China.

Then the regulation should be 100% clear and not leave anything to interpretation. Expecting trillion dollar companies to respect the “spirit” of a law is naive. This is what happens when you have regulators without expertise in the industry they’re regulating.
 
@Beerfloat this is for you too

It is seen as bypassing if the intent of the law is not being respected. Which is why they closed loopholes. You first have to look at why these regulations were implemented.

Nvidia can't self-regulate after being told to stop doing something? Then more regulation is needed. The US government made it 100% clear that they don't want this tech to be sold to China.
Law should never be based on "spirit," a vague interpretation of intent that isn't codified and shifts over time.

Laws should be clear and concise, so that anyone reading and following them is in the clear. To do and desire otherwise is ultimately tyrannical, enabling gross injustice through selective enforcement of a law that doesn't actually exist.
 
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