Citing confidential sources, Reuters said the Commerce Department plans to publish new regulations next month, requiring licenses for certain exports of AI chipmaking equipment and AI computing chips.
Semiconductors and artificial intelligence are increasingly valuable tools for medical device developers and manufacturers as smaller sensors, connectivity tech and algorithms collect and crunch more data than ever before.
The Commerce Department said it is “taking a comprehensive approach to implement additional actions…to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests,” Reuters reported, but Commerce did not comment on specific restrictions.
“The strategy is to choke off China and they have discovered that chips are a choke point. They can’t make this stuff, they can’t make the manufacturing equipment,” Jim Lewis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies told Reuters. “That will change.”
While the potential restrictions are likely aimed at preventing China from applying the advanced chip technology to military use, future generations of medical devices will need smaller, more powerful semiconductors.
Reuters previously reported that the Biden administration intended to slow down China’s largest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), without making the global chip shortage worse.