The Biden administration’s sanctions are becoming increasingly restrictive, putting chip companies like NVIDIA and AMD under pressure. Despite NVIDIA experiencing record-breaking revenues this quarter, the next one doesn’t seem as promising due to the White House’s actions last month. AMD is now following a similar path, as Dell has revealed which GPUs will be banned by China sanctions, affecting 22 other countries as well.
The US is determined to curb China’s growth and that of its partners. Regulations primarily target China, but due to the growing black market, sanctions will also impact other countries and more GPUs than initially thought.
AMD is expected to be more affected than NVIDIA because of performance metrics limitations. No GPU can exceed 4800 TPP for sales in China. Regarding TFLOPS, it is not very clear how the Biden administration measures these in accordance with TPP.
Based on a leaked Dell document, a total of 22 countries face a ban for covertly working with China or being in direct conflict with the US: Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Central African Republic, China, Hong Kong, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Lebanon, Libya, Macau, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
The affected GPUs are split into two groups: the Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) includes GPUs for data centers and artificial intelligence, while the Client Solutions Group (CSG) represents the rest, which require a Notified Advanced Computing (NAC) license. In AMD, sales of the MI210, MI250, MI250X, and the entire MI300 family within the ISG are prohibited, while the CSG with NAC includes the RX 7900 XTX, RX 7900 XT, and PRO W7900.
The rest of the world will continue as normal, but GPU prices might be affected. NVIDIA and AMD will have to find ways to compensate for the sales they are going to lose, particularly in China and Russia. This may lead to either increasing or decreasing the prices of models to maintain their revenue. However, it remains to be seen what actions these companies will take given their recent financial results.