Chinese firms are going to extreme measures to circumvent US chip sanctions, even resorting to throttling semiconductor performance.
The US has imposed strict sanctions on semiconductor exports to China. The US is even using its export rules to prevent foreign companies from exporting advanced semiconductors to China if those companies use American-developed tech.
US authorities are tightening the noose even more with the CHIPS Act, which makes $53 billion available to chipmakers — with the caveat that they cannot ship advanced semiconductors to China if they accept US funds.
According to Ars Technica, companies like Alibaba, Biren Technology, and others are throttling their processor designs in an effort to bring them under the threshold that would make them subject to US sanctions. In many cases, the companies already had designs in play and being manufactured by TSMC, but have had to go back to the drawing board to redesign them.
“Attempting to freeze a country in place for a technological level of hardware is a big deal,” said Paul Triolo, ASG consulting group head of tech policy. “That is what the US is trying to do by restricting sales and closing off the manufacturing road map to get to these advanced levels of hardware.”