Chinese tech companies such as Alibaba’s T-Head cannot buy advanced CPUs and GPUs from American companies such as AMD, Intel and Nvidia due to recently imposed export control regulations. Chinese companies also seem unable to license cutting-edge CPU IP from Arm due to the same rules and Wassenaar arrangements.
According to a report from financial times, Chinese companies cannot access Arm’s advanced Neoverse V-series CPU IP due to US and UK export control regulations and the Wassenaar Agreement on Export Controls for Dual-Use Goods and Technology and Ordinary Weapons. Arm’s Neoverse V1 and Neoverse V2 CPU core IPs are designed to enable high-performance computing applications, including supercomputers.
Arm does not sell processors, but licenses designs that power systems-on-chips that can be used to build everything from smartphones to supercomputers.Recent settings US export controls It is prohibited to ship supercomputers with performance of 100 FP64 petaflops or more or 200 FP32 petaflops or more into China in envelopes of 41,600 cubic feet (1178 cubic meters) or less. Arm’s high-end Neoverse V-series designs are considered American technology, and as a result Arm cannot license its designs to Chinese companies.
The Arm Neoverse V-series design could be targeted for HPC processors for supercomputers and could be used to develop nuclear weapons, making it subject to both the recently imposed US Technology Export Regulations and the Wassenaar Agreement.
Chinese tech giant Alibaba made headlines last year by unveiling its 128-core Yitian 710 server processor for cloud workloads, setting integer performance records for the chip. However, Alibaba could not use Arm’s Neoverse V for his SoC. Instead, we used the unpublished Armv9 core. It’s either a proprietary design or a custom implementation of an Arm Cortex core based on the British company’s latest instruction set, and if I had to guess, it’s probably his Neoverse N-series.
“We feel that the Western world sees us as second-class people,” said an engineer at Alibaba’s T-Head. financial times“Even if you have money, they won’t sell you good things.”
Alibaba engineers and managers have reason to worry. Amazon Web Services has been using Arm’s Neoverse V-series cores in Graviton SoCs for a while, giving it an edge over Alibaba’s cloud services.
A source close to Arm said financial times The company is working with Alibaba and other customers in China to find solutions that can meet its performance goals while complying with both the Wassenaar Agreement and the latest US export regulations.