U.S. bans sales of top Nvidia AI chips to China

STORY: U.S. officials have ordered Nvidia to stop exporting two top computing chips used in artificial intelligence to China.

The chip designer disclosed the ban in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

It’s a move that could hamstring Chinese firms' ability to carry out advanced work like image recognition, and cost Nvidia hundreds of millions of dollars in business.

The order affects its A100 and H100 chips, designed to speed up machine learning tasks.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, a Taiwanese-American, had just unveiled the H100 as the firm’s new flagship chip this spring.

Now the company says, the ban could interfere with the completion of its development.

According to Nvidia, U.S. officials said the new rule "will address the risk that the covered products may be used in, or diverted to, a 'military end use' or 'military end user' in China."

Asked for comment, the U.S. Department of Commerce would not give details of the new criteria for exporting chips to China.

But told Reuters it’s reviewing its policies and practices to "keep advanced technologies out of the wrong hands.”

The announcement signals a major escalation of Washington’s crackdown on China's technological capabilities, as tensions bubble over the fate of Taiwan, where almost all major chip firms have their products made.