Chinese Nuclear Lab Uses Intel, Nvidia Chips Despite Ban
The US Department of Commerce has blacklisted hundreds of Chinese companies involved in military and nuclear research to prevent US technology from being used in these operations. However, these entities have access to major hardware on the open market without restrictions. wall street journal.
The state-owned Chinese Academy of Engineering and Physics (CAEP) has been on the U.S. embargo list since 1997, but according to an independent research paper analyzed, the organization has been selling Intel Xeon Gold with Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics cards. We continue to use processor-based computers. by WSJ. Such CPUs and graphics cards cannot be sold directly to CAEP by Intel or Nvidia, but are available from marketplaces such as Aliexpress and Taobao.
The Chinese School of Engineering and Physics conducts research in various fields. CAEP physicists helped develop the country’s first hydrogen bomb and contributed to China’s nuclear program. U.S. officials don’t want China to develop more nuclear weapons, but the country has more than 400 of her warheads, and he may stockpile 1,500 by 2035. It is considered
To develop these warheads, Chinese researchers need high-performance computing (HPC) and cannot build powerful supercomputers based on state-of-the-art chips developed in the United States, so domestically produced CPUs are used instead. using. The Trump and Biden administrations have imposed tight regulations on China’s semiconductor and supercomputing sectors in recent years.
For example, American wafer fab makers cannot sell companies like China’s SMIC Tools, which can be used to build chips with advanced manufacturing technology, yet SMIC develops production nodes like 7nm. i found a way to do it. Meanwhile, U.S. export controls announced last October that American technology that would allow supercomputers with over 100 FP64 petaflops, or over 200 FP32 petaflops, in an envelope of 41,600 cubic feet (1178 cubic meters) or less, could be exported to China. prohibited from shipping to
Still, CAEP continues to use PCs and servers based on recent Intel and Nvidia hardware. Because it is impossible for the US government to control all the chips sold by American companies, especially bearing in mind that China bought more than a third of all chips produced. For example, his CAEP procurement bid from 2020 included a system based on an Intel CPU and powered by an Nvidia V100 GPU.
“U.S. regulations are very difficult to enforce when it comes to foreign trade,” former Commerce Department official Kevin Wolfe told the WSJ.
A representative from the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security expanded on this idea, saying, “As mass-market products pass through multiple parties in the global supply chain, having complete visibility into the final end-user is a huge undertaking.” .
CAEP does not hide the fact that its researchers are using machines based on Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs. Research papers have made this fact clear and there seems to be no way for the US government to stop this.