The US government has imposed restrictions on the export of some Nvidia chips for artificial intelligence applications to some Middle Eastern countries. In a mandatory announcement on August 28, the chipmaker said it had been informed by the government of additional licensing requirements for some A100 and H100 products, “including some countries in the Middle East.” It is not clear which countries are affected. AMD received similar instructions.
Neither Nvidia nor US representatives could initially be reached for comment on Wednesday. A year ago, Nvidia announced that the United States had called for a ban on exports of the same two chip models to China. This was seen as an attempt to slow down Chinese companies in the field of artificial intelligence, such as image recognition. Nvidia generated most of its $13.5 billion (€12.4 billion) in sales in the United States, China and Taiwan in its most recent fiscal quarter. About 13.9 percent came from all other countries combined. Middle East sales are not broken down separately.
In addition to chip manufacturer Nvidia, recent US export restrictions on some AI chips to the Middle East also appear to impact rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). AMD also received a similar information letter from the US government that included similar restrictions, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters news agency on Wednesday. This step is not expected to have a significant impact on the company’s revenues.
Nvidia had previously said it had been informed by the government of additional licensing requirements for some of its A100 and H100 products, “including some countries in the Middle East.” The document did not mention who these countries were. In a separate statement, Nvidia said the new licensing requirements “do not impact a significant portion of our revenue.” “We are working with the US government to resolve this issue.”
US authorities usually impose export controls for national security reasons. A similar move last year signaled an escalation in the crackdown on China’s technological capabilities, but it was not immediately clear what risks were associated with exports to the Middle East. The US Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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