US further expands sales restrictions on Nvidia’s AI chips Yesterday, 16:23 in Economy , Tech The restrictions apply to certain regions, including countries in the Middle East.

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Nvidia headquarters in California
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From now on, chip company Nvidia must request permission from the US government to sell its most modern AI chips to certain countries in the Middle East. In practice, this is a way to stop sales.

With this, the US further expands the restrictions on the chips. Nvidia has been banned from exporting these chips to China and Russia since last fall.

Nvidia does not say much about the ban. It concerns a number of variants of the most modern AI chips, the A100 and H100. These are very advanced video cards that are widely used in data centers, for example from tech giants such as Microsoft and Google. The H100, the latest variant, is estimated to cost around $35,000 each.

Countries in the Middle East

In addition to restrictions on exports to China, “other regions” are now being added, in Nvidia’s words, including “some countries in the Middle East”. It is unclear which countries are involved and how much demand there is for these chips. Nvidia does not separately disclose sales from the Middle East or from individual countries in that region in its financial reports.

It does not mean that those countries are completely without Nvidia’s chips. After all, this only concerns certain variants of the most modern chips. Additionally, when restrictions were imposed for China, Nvidia modified the A100 and H100 to remain suitable for that market. The adjustment is mainly in the bandwidth, which means that the chip can send and receive less data.

In stock exchange documents, Nvidia emphasizes that given the high demand, it does not expect the new restrictions to have financial consequences. The company warns that this could change in the long term if, for example, new export restrictions are introduced, interest from China in the alternative chips disappears or if chips are bought from the competition.

China’s development

In October, the US decided on far-reaching restrictions aimed at stopping China’s technological development. America is afraid that China could otherwise build up too much military power. Computer chips, especially chips that are important for AI, are also very important for military applications.

In the same context, new restrictions will come into effect tomorrow for the Dutch chip machine maker ASML. The company has not been allowed to ship its latest type of machine (the EUV) for several years; certain older types (the DUV) are now being added.

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