ARM says it will no longer supply its platforms to Chinese companies, meaning customers including Alibaba and other companies will no longer be able to access the cutting-edge CPU designs. According to the British company, restrictions imposed on China by the U.S. and U.K. governments mean it cannot export its technology to the country.
ARM is reacting to the ongoing strict export restrictions the U.S. government is placing on China. Essentially, the United States is trying to stop China from receiving advanced CPU technology. The goal is to stop the Chinese government from having the resources to manufacture their own high-end semiconductors.
Because ARM's Neoverse V series architecture has a performance that is too high to be approved for sale by the U.S. and U.K. governments. Alibaba is one of ARM's biggest Chinese customers and was to use the Neoverse V in its T-Head chip division.
With the Neoverse not available for sale, ARM has simply decided to pull all sales from China. It is worth remembering that the company does not build processors but instead builds design platforms that other companies use to build their own chipsets.
Neoverse V2 is the latest and most advanced platform. It is thought to have been developers – at least partly – in the United States.
The platform is under the Wassenaar Arrangement, an accord made of 42 nations that prevents technology from being leveraged for military purposes. Importantly, ARM is not saying it does not want to sell the platform, but rather it cannot. The company would need an export license from the U.S. and U.K. and is unlikely to get it.
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