The tightened export ban was supposed to go into effect 30 days later. Now, in a surprise move, the Biden administration has moved the ban forward.
In September 2022, the Biden administration announced restrictions on the export of high-end AI chips like Nvidia’s A100 and H100 to China and Russia.
In response, Nvidia developed new, lower-power chips, the A800 and H800, specifically for the Chinese market that complied with the export restrictions.
Then, on October 17, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced additional restrictions on the export of AI chips, including the A800 and H800, to China and Russia. The restrictions were originally scheduled to take effect in 30 days.
On October 24, Nvidia announced in an SEC filing that the new export restrictions will now take effect earlier than planned.
Reason for accelerated export stop unknown
The restrictions apply to the A100, A800, H100, H800, L40, L40S, and RTX 4090 chipsets, as well as complete systems sold with these chipsets, such as the DGX and HGX systems.
The accelerated schedule probably came as a surprise to Nvidia as well, but the company does not expect any significant financial impact in the short term due to strong worldwide demand.
AMD is also affected but has not commented. Intel is evaluating the potential impact.
The export restrictions are intended to prevent China, Russia, and Iran from obtaining advanced AI chips that could enable breakthroughs, particularly for military applications. To prevent access through third countries, the U.S. also imposed export restrictions on some Middle Eastern countries.
However, according to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, China will continue to import hundreds of billions of dollars worth of semiconductors from the United States.