Some US Lawmakers Want to Restrict American Companies From Working on RISC-V Chip Technology – Slashdot

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An anonymous reader shared this report from Reuters:

In a new front in the U.S.-China tech war, President Joe Biden’s administration is facing pressure from some lawmakers to restrict American companies from working on a freely available chip technology widely used in China — a move that could upend how the global technology industry collaborates across borders…

RISC-V can be used as a key ingredient for anything from a smartphone chip to advanced processors for artificial intelligence… The lawmakers expressed concerns that Beijing is exploiting a culture of open collaboration among American companies to advance its own semiconductor industry, which could erode the current U.S. lead in the chip field and help China modernize its military. Their comments represent the first major effort to put constraints on work by U.S. companies on RISC-V…

Executives from China’s Huawei Technologies have embraced RISC-V as a pillar of that nation’s progress in developing its own chips. But the United States and its allies also have jumped on the technology, with chip giant Qualcomm working with a group of European automotive firms on RISC-V chips and Alphabet’s Google saying it will make Android, the world’s most popular mobile operating system, work on RISC-V chips…

Jack Kang, vice president of business development at SiFive, a Santa Clara, California-based startup using RISC-V, said potential U.S. government restrictions on American companies regarding RISC-V would be a “tremendous tragedy.” “It would be like banning us from working on the internet,” Kang said. “It would be a huge mistake in terms of technology, leadership, innovation and companies and jobs that are being created.”

One U.S. Representative said the Chinese Communist Party was “abusing RISC-V to get around U.S. dominance of the intellectual property needed to design chips.

“U.S. persons should not be supporting a PRC tech transfer strategy that serves to degrade U.S. export control laws.”

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