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Nvidia’s GPU redesigns for China prompt warning from US government

The US government has warned against redesigning chips to cirumvent recent AI export bans to China, which would include some Nvidia GPUs.

An Nvidia GPU die

Following the recent ban of certain chips from the US to China, namely those that could be used to further the latter’s proficiency with AI, Nvidia has sought to mitigate its losses by various means. This has previously included redesigns for some of its GPUs, but these efforts, as well as those from other companies, have seemingly not gone unnoticed by the federal government of the United States.

The GeForce RTX 4090 was one such Nvidia graphics card that fell under the terms laid out by the export ban. The desire to use the pixel pusher for purposes other than gaming is clear, given that Chinese companies are now repurposing RTX 4090s into AI GPUs en masse.

As Nvidia gears up to launch a redesigned RTX 4090, under the name ‘RTX 4090D’, recent comments made by US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo feel all the more relevant.

Speaking to Fortune (via Videocardz) in a recent interview, Raimondo said, “If you redesign a chip around a particular cut line that enables [China] to do AI, I’m going to control it the very next day.”

While this warning isn’t specifically directed at Nvidia, it certainly includes the company. How quickly the United States can or will respond, however, remains to be seen.

If you’re struggling to find an RTX 4090 amid stock shortages, check out our best graphics card guide for alternative picks. Right now, your best option is the GeForce RTX 4080, so be sure to check out our review.