U.S. Blacklists Two Major Chinese CPU Developers

The silent war between China and the US over technology continues with the US blacklisting more and more Chinese companies. The US Commerce Department has announced that they have just added seven more Chinese entities to the DoC’s Entity List which means that these companies or organizations are banned from obtaining all advanced technologies developed in the US.

Among these seven are two major CPU developers from China: Tianjin Phytium Information Technology and Sunway(Shenwei) Microelectronics. One company develops CPU chips for clients and servers based on the Armv8 Instruction Set Architecture and the other designs proprietary supercomputer CPUs.

What the ban means that these companies aren’t able to import advanced US technologies. Now, both being CPU manufacturers, use EDAs or electronic design automation and other tools to manufacture these CPUs and SoCs. EDA is a US technology and after the ban, it is now impossible for the companies to develop their processors.

The Department of Commerce also banned four supercomputer sites in China including the National Supercomputing Center Jinan the National Supercomputing Center Shenzhen, the National Supercomputing Center Wuxi, and the National Supercomputing Center Zhengzhou. The reason the department gave was that allegedly the newly added entities supported the modernization of the Chinese People Liberation Army.

They were producing supercomputers for the military, developing weapons of mass destruction, and were also part of other destabilizing efforts. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said in a statement that “Supercomputing capabilities are vital for the development of many – perhaps almost all – modern weapons and national security systems, such as nuclear weapons and hypersonic weapons”.

It feels like a well-thought-out excuse but it would be dumb to think that all these big companies don’t have any dark secrets hidden.

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