The advancement of artificial intelligence It doesn’t just come up against technical issues, technological progress, it’s also a geopolitical dispute. The fear that many have about the unbridled advancement of AI also implies an accumulation of power for certain nations that stand out in this field of IA. The United States understands it precisely this way, and is already drawing up a new set of rules to limit investment in AI and semiconductors in China.

The game of chess

The idea of ​​the American government, which continues to promote security and combat surveillance, is to use means to stop Chinese advances in AI technologies that could be used for military purposes, intelligence, mass surveillance and cyber warfare. Linked to this, stopping China’s advance also represents less market breadth for the rival.

China’s plan for rise in the AI ​​market comes up against technological dependence on Americans. And, thanks to this direct dependence, the USA takes several actions that directly impact Chinese companies, such as banning the export of chips to the country. Making it difficult, or practically making impossible, the Chinese plan to lead the AI ​​market by 2030.

In May, China announced the creation of a US$47.5 billion fund to boost the semiconductor market, essential for the progress of AI. The North American NVIDIA, which reached the level of most valuable company in the worldhas been growing rapidly precisely because of its proficiency in supplying fundamental chips to power the supercomputers that keep ChatGPT and other applications afloat.

The race for GAA

Among the ways in which the United States would adopt to harm China would be, for example, limiting the use of transistors based on “gate all-around” (GAA), that promise to surpass technology FinFET on a very important point: performance per watt. Large players in the market are already fighting for progress in this technology. The South Korean Samsung, for example, with its GAA MBCFET (Multi-Bridge-Channel FET) technology, following the second generation 3nm production process, promises that the chips manufactured will have a consumption 50% smaller than 5nm integrated circuits.

On the US side, Intel plans to start manufacturing GAA semiconductors, under its 20A (2nm) node, in 2024. It is worth remembering that Intel will receive almost US$20 billion from the US government to expand its production capacity. Expansion that evidently involves GAA, a crucial technological point in the race between companies and governments in their respective countries.

The American government is also working behind the scenes to limit Chinese access to EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet Lightography) lithography equipment, lithography with extreme ultraviolet light, used in the production of cutting-edge HBM memory chips, capable of equipping cutting-edge AI accelerators. .

Initially, with the new rules, the US intention is to limit US investors from carrying out transactions such as capital acquisitions, greenfield investments, joint ventures, financing convertible debt, among other things. Initially, the new standards should focus on regions such as Macau and Hong Kong, but will be expanded to other regions.


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