Paul van Gerven
9 October

Two US senators are urging the Biden administration to limit China’s access to ‘American’ RISC-V technology. They argue that China is utilizing RISC-V to bypass US dominance in chip design, raising not only economic considerations but also concerns related to national security, and demand that US companies involved with the open-source instruction set architecture can only engage with their Chinese counterpart after Washington’s approval.

China flag small

“Communist China is developing open-source chip architectures to dodge our sanctions and grow its chip industry,” Marco Rubio said in a statement to Reuters. “If we don’t broaden our export controls to include this threat, China will one day surpass us as the global leader in chip design.”

Rubio’s colleague Mark Warner acknowledged the difficulties of restricting open-source technology. “I fear that our export control laws aren’t equipped to deal with the challenge of open-source software – whether in advanced semiconductor designs like RISC-V or the area of AI – and a dramatic paradigm shift is needed,” Warner said in a statement.