US restricts Nvidia and AMD sales of AI chips to China and Russia

1 Sep 2022

Image: © Andreas Prott/

Nvidia said the US has brought in restrictions to prevent advanced technology from being used for military applications in Russia and China.

The US has imposed fresh restrictions on the selling of advanced chips to Russia and China, impacting chipmakers such as Nvidia and AMD.

Nvidia said a new licensing requirement has been implemented “effective immediately” by the US government for exporting various chips and related products to Russia and China.

In an SEC regulatory filing, Nvidia said the new license is required to export its A100 and forthcoming H100 GPUs.

“DGX or any other systems which incorporate A100 or H100 integrated circuits and the A100X are also covered by the new license requirement,” Nvidia said.

It added that the new US measure aims to prevent advanced hardware from being deployed for military use in China and Russia.

AMD also confirmed it has been ordered to stop selling its top AI chip to China. The chipmaker said this will prevent the shipment of its MI250 chips but will not have a material impact on business, Reuters reported.

A spokesperson for the US Department of Commerce did not reveal specific details about the new criteria, but told Reuters that China-related policies are being reviewed to “keep advanced technologies out of the wrong hands”.

Both Nvidia and AMD halted sales to Russia earlier this year in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Impact for Nvidia

While AMD said it won’t be heavily affected by the new restrictions, Nvidia said the new export rules could have a large impact on its business.

Nvidia said around $400m of its expected sales to China this quarter could be affected by the new restrictions, depending on factors such as how fast new licenses are granted.

The chipmaker added that the new rules could impact its ability to complete the H100 GPU and that “certain operations” may have to be moved out of China. Nvidia said it is currently seeking exemptions for its “internal development and support activities”.

The move signals an escalation of the long-running tension between the US and China.

Chips became an area of focus last month when US politician Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, which China has laid a claim to. During the visit, the US lawmaker had a meeting with the chair of the world’s biggest semiconductor manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC.

In 2020, TSMC responded to pressure from US government to cut ties with Chinese company Huawei, which at the time was one of its most important customers after Apple.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic