ARM won’t sell its latest chip designs in China due to US and UK export controls

ARM won’t sell its latest Neoverse V-series chips to Chinese tech giant Alibaba after concluding the US and UK won’t approve licenses to export them, according to The Financial Times. Decision follows new US government rules restrict exports from China and Russia powerful chips that could be reused for military purposes.

Softbank-owned ARM believes Neoverse V would fall into the category of high-performance processors affected by the new rules. Although he could ask for a license, it would probably be refused, according to FT‘s sources familiar with the sales process. This may be the first time that ARM has decided not to sell its most advanced chip designs to China.

ARM designs advanced RISC architecture for chips used in products ranging from smartwatches to advanced supercomputers. It doesn’t build the processors itself, but sells the designs to manufacturers like TSMC and Samsung. Its latest Neoverse V2 core has the highest performance to date, with a design that is said to come from the United States.

The Biden administration is also reportedly set to put Chinese chipmaker YMTC on its Entity List as early as next week, according to a separate FT article. The company allegedly violated US export controls by supplying Chinese smartphone maker Huawei with NAND memory chips.

The US government had YMTC on a list of “unverified” entities, meaning it was unable to perform checks to confirm that the national technology was not being used illegally. Thirty Chinese companies, including YMTC, had 60 days to comply to avoid being placed on a list of entities that severely restrict exports. The Chinese government now allows such checks, but not all companies are necessarily cooperating.

The United States unveiled a sweep technology export control in October. “This includes preventing China’s acquisition and use of American technology as part of its military-civilian fusion program to fuel its military modernization efforts, commit human rights abuses and enable further malicious activity,” he added. said at the time. When the rules were announced, analysts said memory chipmakers like YMTC would be hit the hardest.

China filed a dispute with the World Trade Organization earlier this week regarding these export controls. The US government considers YMTC a “national champion” in China, so the latest move is likely to be met with a strong reaction.

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