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No GTX 4090 for China, Says US: Export Ban Targets Nvidia's High-End Graphics Card

By Xueyang
Oct. 18, 2023 updated 11:34

No 4090 for ChinaNo 4090 for China

In a move that heightens tensions in tech trade relations, the United States has banned Nvidia from exporting its flagship GeForce RTX 4090 graphics cards to China. The restriction comes as part of a broader export ban aimed at preventing China from acquiring advanced AI chips. Nvidia disclosed the new limitation in a stock exchange filing on Tuesday, coinciding with the US Commerce Department's announcement of tightened controls on advanced chip exports.

Under the new rules, Nvidia must secure a license from the US government to export the RTX 4090 to not just China but also several other countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. Given the US's export guidelines specifically designed for China come with a presumption of denial, the prospects of obtaining such a license look bleak for Nvidia.

GTX 4090GTX 4090

Interestingly, the Commerce Department had initially indicated an exemption for consumer-grade GPUs for export to China. However, Nvidia's RTX 4090 exceeds "certain performance thresholds" outlined in the revised rules, thus falling under the ban. Specifically, the new guidelines dictate that chips containing more than 50 billion transistors require a license for export to the affected countries. The RTX 4090 boasts a remarkable 76 billion transistors, surpassing the limit, while its less powerful sibling, the RTX 4080, falls just under the threshold with 45.9 billion.

The clampdown also extends to Nvidia's A800 and H800 GPUs, which the company had deliberately downgraded to comply with the US's initial version of the export ban. Nvidia warned that the new requirements could lead the company to "transition certain operations out of one or more of the identified countries."

The developments add another layer of complexity to the tech trade landscape and may have wide-ranging implications for both Nvidia and the broader PC hardware market.

Source: US SEC