US won’t restrict exports of ‘mature chips’ to China — processors using 28nm or older tech will be free from sanctions

SOURCE: Tom’s Hardware

The U.S. government won’t be extending its semiconductor export restrictions on China to “mature chips or legacy chips,” per a Nikkei interview with the Assistant Secretary for Export Administration. This means that, for now, chips made on mature nodes (usually defined as 28nm or older) won’t be subject to sanctions like processors made with more advanced technology.

At a press event at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo, Thea D. Rozman Kendler, in her capacity as Assistant Secretary for Export Administration, stated there was “no interest in expanding [export restrictions] further to mature chips or legacy chips.” This decision comes after the Department of Commerce said it would consider putting sanctions on legacy processors in December over concerns that China was flooding the market with cheap chips the West couldn’t compete against.

After surveying over 100 companies in several industries, the Commerce Department concluded it wouldn’t be putting sanctions on legacy chips, at least for now. When explaining the Department’s decision, Kendler said, “We’ve tried very hard to make sure that our semiconductor controls are as narrow as possible to make sure that we are addressing only our national security threat and nothing more.”

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