US Issues Apparent Warning To NVIDIA Over Redesigned Chip Shipments To China

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The United States government seems to be sending a message to NVIDIA about the company’s chip exports to China. Gina Raimondo, US Commerce Secretary, spoke about the importance of her department’s work in keeping China from gaining access to the cutting-edge chips it needs to continue its AI development.

While speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, Raimondo said, “We cannot let China get these chips. Period. We’re going to deny them our most cutting-edge technology."

She seemed to specifically reference NVIDIA without outright referring to the firm by its name, mentioning that if a company makes a chip design for the Chinese market that still empowers their AI development, then her department will place controls on that product the very next day. The comment is notable because it follows recent rumors that NVIDIA is releasing a GeForce RTX 4090 Dragon Edition graphics card in China with a different GPU than what's found in other RTX 4090 cards, which are banned.

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Raimondo is making it known that the national security of the United States will be put above any economic concerns. Stating that “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.”

NVIDIA’s business is largely focused on AI, and China is one of the biggest markets in the world. It will be increasingly more difficult for the company to be able to meet the demands placed on it from both sides of the Pacific. However, the current administration is showing that it’s serious about its efforts to prevent China from gaining access to its high performance chips, so NVIDIA will need to tread carefully with its future offerings.