back to article Hardware hacker: Walling off China from RISC-V ain't such a great idea, Mr President

Continued pressure by US lawmakers to restrict China's access to RISC-V has been called into question. Ahead of the annual RISC-V Summit in Silicon Valley's Santa Clara, taking place this week, Andrew 'bunnie' Huang - a noted hardware hacker, electronics biz owner, and author - said attempts by politicians to somehow stop …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    There's this thing called gravity. The Chinese use it to keep their buildings firmly anchored to the ground. Maybe, for security's sake, the US should ban the Chinese from using that.

  2. Peshman

    So is it 'open' or mot?

    ...or do we have to wait for the US of A to let us know?

    I honestly don't think Chinese chip designers give a toss what the US has to say on the matter.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: So is it 'open' or mot?

      Yes that's his whole point. But if a US maker contributed to a RISC-V project that was subsequently used in China they get a million years in prison, so safer to just keep buying ARM

      Now extend that to Linux. You contribute code to Linux that is used in China/Iran or other enemy superpowers like Cuba, you get extradited to the USA and go to jail for breaking sanctions. Better stick to buying approved Linux from your friendly neighborhood RHEL/AWS/MSFT

      I wonder who could possibly be paying for such a bill?

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: So is it 'open' or mot?

        "you get extradited to the USA and go to jail for breaking sanctions"

        Therein lies the problem. If I were to contribute something (*) that is used by whoever on RISC-V... well, I'm not American, I don't live in America, and to be honest I don't give a fuck what America thinks. If it's legal in my jurisdiction, then it's legal, end of discussion.

        * - don't worry, I'm not that smart...

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: So is it 'open' or mot?

          >If it's legal in my jurisdiction, then it's legal, end of discussion.

          True if your government has an army capable of intimidating the USA. Or doesn't need to trade with the USA.

          Otherwise, try selling weapons to Iran and see how long it takes for your democratically elected leaders to hand you over, or go live on a couch in a 3rd world embassy

          1. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: So is it 'open' or mot?

            Can't help but think that "writing some code for this thing that might find its way to places like Iran" is a whole different concept to "selling weapons to Iran". This just smells of a lousy attempt to throw FUD at something for their fifteen minutes of infamy.

            I repeat, if doing "whatever" (*) is not illegal in my country, then why should I care what America's lawmakers think?

            * - Which is not, let's be clear, directly selling weapons to a perceived enemy, I'm pretty sure there are rules about that sort of thing here, too.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So is it 'open' or mot?

              "writing some code for this thing that might find its way to places like Iran"

              You mean like Stuxnet?

      2. hittitezombie

        Re: So is it 'open' or mot?

        The thing is, rest of the world will move on eventually. With Americans, or without. The US of A is a big market now, but compared to what India and China has to offer as their people get richer, it could be a small niche 'protected' market or can try to be a part of it.

        The UK is learning that hard lesson fast thanks to Brexshit.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    This whole debate is absurd

    If the design were restricted to US pork-barrel corporations and there were special secret fabs in the US dedicated to manufacturing them then perhaps the senators might have a point. As the design is freely available on the Internet and 99% of chips are manufactured in China so they just like getting on TV.

    1. 3arn0wl

      Another unpopular opinion...

      ... but I'm going to express it anyway.

      I view this as a political reaction to a perceived threat to "The American Way" : Open Source = Commie.

      Capitalism shrowds its jewels in secrecy, protects them with patents, and keeps the knowledge limited within a defined heirarchy.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Another unpopular opinion...

        It's not an unpopular opinion, it's just an opinion that's likely to be wrong. Of course, I can't know what is going on in the minds of these politicians, but I can almost guarantee that it isn't "Open Source = Commie". This is for one particular reason: they don't have a clue what open source means or involves and probably don't understand why people like us make such a big deal about it. In fact, there's a distinct possibility that they don't wonder that because they don't even know that we make a big deal about it.

        They aren't fighting this because they think open source is dangerous, RISC-V is open source, thus we must fight RISC-V. In fact, they're perfectly fine with RISC-V. Their logic appears to be that China is dangerous, let's do something about China, China uses chips, RISC-V has something to do with chips, some Chinese companies have talked about and built products using RISC-V, so let's try to stop them using it and keep RISC-V for non-China only, because that must be possible, right? Many things could take the place of RISC-V in that sentence and make as much sense. The thing they want to limit is China, not open source in general or any particular part of it. Their reasoning for wanting to restrict China is certainly subject to dispute, but their methods for doing it are random in their effectiveness.

        Politicians, and a large set of the general public, and even a significant minority of technical people, have a bad idea about how easy it is to do various things with technology. They see, for example, that there is proprietary software out there which people, even while trying hard to break into it, cannot turn to their will. They therefore think that, if it's possible for tractor firmware to resist someone who has access to the machine and a bunch of hardware, then surely it can't be that hard to have a chip instruction set that you don't let China have. It's a similar logic that's used when they say that it can't be too hard to have encryption that the intended recipient can use and police can use but criminals can't. Those assumptions are wrong, but it takes a lesson to explain why it's wrong and they don't spend that long on things before suggesting what everyone should be doing. It goes the other way as well, with some people assuming that open source means that anyone can do anything, for instance having utopian ideals about what RISC-V will mean for open source software, user freedoms, and software support rather than meaning that chips will be cheaper to make which might mean they're cheaper to buy. As analogies go, the first post that joked about gravity is closer to the politicians' thinking than the communism analogy.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Another unpopular opinion... @doublelayer

          Your comprehensive laudable post in reply, doublelayer, [have an upvote for bothering to share its info] suggests you are in wider agreement that the opinion supports the view it is a politically incorrect reaction to a perceived threat to "The American Way” . Would that be correct?

        2. 3arn0wl

          Re: Another unpopular opinion...

          I think this is about protectionism, and about Arm, specifically.

          RISC-V is forecasted to be an industry disruptor (with or without the USA's involvement). RISC-V International now has over 4,000 members, including all the big tech names.

          So the question is : will the likes of Google and Qualcomm be scared off from accessing at least 1/5th of the world's tech marketplace by these politics? Or will they decamp to less Authoritarian economies?

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Another unpopular opinion...

            "I think this is about protectionism, and about Arm, specifically."

            I don't think it's that either. American politicians have been rushing over each other to find new ways to penalize China for years. In the past two years, it's been all about chips. Every couple months, someone finds a new way to restrict China's ability to manufacture chips. Some of them are passed as trade regulations, while others are just talked about loudly. It can't have skipped their notice that many of the articles responding to their latest restriction have the word RISC-V in it, suggesting that it might help China withstand the restrictions. So they're trying to find some way to take RISC-V away from them so their previous restrictions still work, since they don't understand very well what RISC-V helps them get around and what it doesn't. The most important part here is that they're perfectly happy for the U.S. and most other countries to continue having RISC-V and are not trying to prevent it. They just want China not to have it.

            RISC-V is a threat to ARM in the long term, but politicians don't jump to protect a company they don't understand. Maybe ARM has some lobbyists encouraging this, I don't know, but I doubt they'd even have to. Neither is ARM as intrinsically linked to American products. Qualcomm is based there and ARM has a few locations there, but it's not a household name and to the extent that it's associated with a country, it's the UK. The politicians aren't exactly hiding their reasons for asking for this: they'd like to limit China and don't actually understand how to do that, so they're throwing this idea at the Commerce Department in case it sticks.

            1. 3arn0wl

              Re: Another unpopular opinion...

              :) We'll have to agree to differ on that one.

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Yet another unpopular opinion... but never fake and false whenever much more than just honestly true

        Capitalism shrowds its jewels in secrecy, protects them with patents, and keeps the knowledge limited within a defined heirarchy. .... 3arnOwl

        Quite so, 3arnOwl, but it is now discovered to not work for long as was intended and with future use delivering rampant corruption and international bankruptcy [crippling mounting nationalised debt, juicy deficit spending and increasing compounded interest payment liabilities] to more than just the avid and rabid fans of what suddenly becomes a rapidly crashing victim of a failed past great worshipful master plan ....... for is that not an honest and accurate denouement of the/a current running currency laundering global scam/scheme/shame?

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Yet another unpopular opinion...

          Patents and copyright when first (re)implemented(*) had short periods to allow inventors or authors to gain an income before falling into public use

          Over the last 2 centuries the laws surrounding these have been abused and stretched out of all proportion to become tools for rent-seeking behaviour instead of simply fair renumeration

          (*) Royal patent monopolies were abolished in the 1600s _because_ of widespread and similar abuses to those seen now, replaced a few decades later with a patent system similar to what we now use

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Another unpopular opinion...

        It's also a similar path to what the UK was doing (invoking Yellow Peril) when its domestic electronics industry started losing heavily to Japan in the 1960s

        It didn't work for the UK then and it won't work for the USA now.

        The USA economy is no longer _the_ dominant one in the world, with both China and the EU having grown to about the same size, whilst India is rapidly playing catchup

        Americans fixate on this as "losing out", but the USA economy is larger than it was at the end of the Cold War, with the difference being that the global economy is 7 times larger than it was then - economics is not a "zero sum game", despite the rabid beliefs of Mercantilist policymakers (Mercantilism is a form of economic warfare and the prevailing mentality worldwide until after WW1 - and tellingly, those "behind the curtains" in the USA want to return to a social and economic structure which prevailed in 1905 - the Gilded Era)

  4. heyrick Silver badge

    How does this even work?

    China bad, China thieves, China danger, China etc etc...

    At the same time: China good, China mass produce all our electronic gizmos. Cheap Chinese labour equals even more shareholder profits...

    1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: How does this even work?

      What lawmakers want, and implicitly demand, is that manufacturers set-up shop in other countries in Asia. China, through its manufacturing, has become a threat to the U.S. dominance in the world and this cannot be left unanswered.

      Then there's the Taiwanese question, which could easily spin out of control if China invades the island. I think it's only prudent that the U.S. takes measures to prevent China from further increasing its military strength and thereby aiding an invasion. If the Chinese were to invade Taiwan successfully that would definitively end American and Western hegemony and replacing the World Order set in place since the WWII. It's only logical the U.S. does everything it can to prevent this.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: How does this even work?

        "Then there's the Taiwanese question, which could easily spin out of control if China invades the island."

        I have to wonder if at least some of the larger Taiwanese companies have back up plans to move operations to another country should China invade with a scorched Earth policy so they don't leave behind any proprietary IP. Given the rumblings, if I had operations in Taiwan, I'd be building up new facilities somewhere like Indonesia. When it came time to run, all that would be left behind is tired machinery buried under a mound of ashes.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: How does this even work?

      "Cheap Chinese labour equals even more shareholder profits..."

      It's been some time since labor in China was demonstrably cheaper than other developed parts of the world. One thing that automation does for you is reduce the labor input to products, especially products that lend themselves to being built on an assembly line in factories. What China has is access to raw materials, a very pro-business and proactive government (just ignore all the warts) and an understanding that if they ban all of the industrial processes used in making goods, there's nothing to export. The people that are left on the assembly line can be paid a reasonable wage and good wages bring in competition from applicants. People with good skills aren't going to stay with a company that pays poorly. It's also not just pay, but working conditions, company provided housing and transportation, etc.

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Get with the New More Orderly World Order Program or Perish in ITs Wakes

    The arrogance and hubris of American administrators and lawmakers thinking that they should or even can command and control and restrict access to anything of greater value that has gone before from anyone likely to benefit from it is quite astounding and extremely disappointing and not ever likely to be something acceptable to and worth heeding by any sort of a being with half a wit and more.

    FFS.... get a grip on yourself, Uncle Sam, and stop being a right pain in the arse and carbuncle on the face of humanity.

    The times they are a’changed and a’changing. Haven’t y’all heard? Did you not get the memo?

  6. JoeCool Bronze badge

    have we learned nothing from wipo ?

    Technology, in the form of ip, is wholly subjugated to commercial and political dirctives.

    Everyone here seems to be arguing some form of "open source wants to be free". But come on, lets not forget internet history so quickly.

    And seriously, any nations still running societies based on slavery or apartied needs to be cut off from global commerce, as the primary consideration.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: have we learned nothing from wipo ?

      Slavery/apartheid are self-sabotaging in terms of pure economics and slavery is still practiced in the USA (private slave ownership is illegal, but the USA prison system is heavily based around using prisoners as slave labour. The 13th amendment is either faulty or deliberately crafted to allow this)

      What we should be more worried about is the erection of barriers to communication - public or privately operated

      Knowledge is power and more importantly the free circulation of information makes it harder for corruption to proliferate

      The concentration of media power into several multibillionare hands with insufficient oversight is why conspiracy theorists and others are able to have a field day

      1. throe a. wai

        Re: have we learned nothing from wipo ?

        13th was deliberately crafted with that exception. 13th + forced internships + reneging on 40 acres and a mule meant nothing changed. Union won the battle but lost the war, see lost cause, large % of southern people believe the war was not about slavery.

      2. JoeCool Bronze badge

        Re: have we learned nothing from wipo ?

        The US is certainly not excluded from that criteria. I fully agree with your sentiment there. But on the scale of wrongness they're still a bit mid-tier, despite Republican efforts to move them closer to Russia, China etc. .

      3. Francis King
        Stop

        Re: have we learned nothing from wipo ?

        "The 13th amendment is either faulty or deliberately crafted to allow this)"

        The 13th Amendment - as I understand it - bans slavery, EXCEPT where the person has been duly convicted in a court of law.

    2. jcday

      Re: have we learned nothing from wipo ?

      Internet history is littered with the remains of industries that opted for security through obscurity. It's a terrible strategy that has been largely abandoned in the security field and even Microsoft is starting to learn.

      Computer networking, as a whole, has seen the utter destruction of proprietary protocols, even when they've been superior. (We use, what, three of CCITT's X protocols today, compared to how many of the IETF's?)

      Complexity is the enemy of closed-source, which is why Intel CPUs have had issues throughout much of their history. The earliest well-known one was the FPU bug in the Pentium, but there were defects from before then and there are defects in modern designs that expose secrets including cryptographic keys, or break memory protections.

      One reason the military and space industries don't use the latest and greatest is to ensure the issues are fixed before strapping a chip into a billion dollars' worth of hardware or use them in key servers on the ground.

      If the US ends up forking RISC-V in order to keep their tech secret, the US fork will progress slower and contain more defects. That's just the nature of complex systems in an overly-closed inhibited ecosystem. It's inevitable. Just as Microsoft simply can't afford the same manpower Linux can draw on.

      Since the US can't contribute back, the only way to stay ahead is to do as little new stuff as possible. Same applies to China.

      With the smaller market and the lack of value-add, I see US companies struggling outside the USG. And why would the USG be buying RISC-V chips from multiple vendors in quantities sufficient to make it profitable for all of them?

      And, in turn, that's going to inhibit the development of any fork further.

      We've seen this sort of political interference before. It's directly responsible for both Shuttle losses, it's the reason Beowulf clustering is no longer really a thing, it's why Boeing's Blended Wing aircraft was cancelled (and, thus, indirectly why the 767 Max8 disasters happened instead).

      Politicians aren't generally competent to understand risks or consequences with technology and make a mess of things frequently.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like american opcodes...

    It's pretty clear that ADD and STORE are american** opcodes, and any chinese cpu's that have these stolen opcodes in them should be stopped at the border.

    **or their poodles in Southern Caledonia

  8. Claverhouse Silver badge
    WTF?

    Dementia

    "While the benefits of open-source collaboration on RISC-V promise to be significant for advancement and development of the US semiconductor industry, it can only be realized when contributors are working with the sole aim of improving the technology, and not aiding the technological goals and geopolitical interests of the PRC," the group of 18 Congressfolk wrote in their letter [PDF] to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo last week.

    Even the dimmest of politicians realises that the two propositions, however unwelcome, are not antithetical.

    .

    One of Huang's biggest fears is that the risk of violating US export controls [PDF], which includes civil penalties of up to $250,000 and criminal penalties of 20 years in prison, and a maximum $1 million fine, could have a chilling effect on contributions to RISC-V development.

    .

    Yeah, sure, the American vision is focused on endless punishment; but [i]20 years[/i] ?

    Anyway, last time I saw such over-reaching penalties was Mrs. Clinton's proposed [B]Flag Protection Act[/b], which had for flag-burning or disrespect to Old Glory [i]...called for a punishment of no more than one year in prison and a fine of no more than $100,000; unless that flag was property of the United States Government, in which case the penalty would be a fine of not more than $250,000, not more than two years in prison, or both.[/i]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_Protection_Act_of_2005

    1. Bebu Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Dementia

      《Flag_Protection_Act_of_2005》

      I you were so arsed to defile the US flag you probably would want to use one of the old ones with 48 stars which I suspect wouldn't be covered :)

      I find it amusing that the 50th state still has the union flag embedded in its state flag.

      Given the recent leadership of South Caledonia (nice one - or is that North Sark or Rockall* West?) and the trans MX-CA desert nothing however foolish from either would now surprise me.

      *"There can be no place more desolate, despairing and awful." - Lord Kennet 1971 ... Surprise! he wasn't speaking of England 2023.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Dementia and the Addictive Attractive Madness of its Flip Side, Shared Genius.

        "There can be no place more desolate, despairing and awful." - Lord Kennet 1971 ... Surprise! he wasn't speaking of England 2023. .... Bebu

        One wonders whether such a denial would be true of a postmodern day Lord Kennet, Bebu, regarding England nowadays, in these days of mounting and expanding 0day surprises and remote virtually commanded and controlled spaces leading realities to never ever even liable to be imagined before places, which many be extremely fearful may constitute and deliver existential threats solely, rather than otherworldly treats mainly.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Dementia

      "but [i]20 years[/i] ?"

      Yup. The USA went into extremist overreach a while back

      Fascism was very popular in pre ww2 America (particularly in the South) and it never went away.

      There are direct and quite traceable links between the moden Republican party (and its donors) back to prewar American fascist groups and their supporters (Let's not forget that Adolph Hitler heavily praised Henry Ford and the confederacy amongst other things, in Mein Kampf)

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Dementia

        Let's not pretend authoritarianism is not also alive and well in the Democratic Party. It wasn't a Republican president who started pushing the Unitary Executive theory and solicited an opinion from the DoJ saying extrajudicial execution of US citizens was Just Fine.

        And I say that as someone who has consistently voted Democrat.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Dementia

      If 2005 was the last time you saw excessive penalties in a US bill or law, you really haven't been paying attention.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it really about RISC-V ?

    Or is it about the F.I.S.A. (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) courts loosing the ability to compel US based companies (Intel/AMD) to "update" their encrypted and signed code for ME/PSP cores with "special code". These cores have full access to all data processed by computers, and the ability to exfiltrate data through any hardware.

    Any F.U.D. (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) from the government that can retard the global deployment and use of RISC-V hardware, will only prolong the use of US controlled technology. There is probably a fair amount of lobbying money flowing into the government from Intel and AMD to help them sell more units globally.

    There is also the extra cost for the spy agencies. Monocultures of operating systems and computer architecture is in the long term much much cheaper to develop spyware for, than a diverse rainbow of operating systems and computer architectures developed by multiple companies, few of which will be going forward based in the US.

  10. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Disagree

    I disagree with Huang's dissertation that RISC-V cannot be controlled and if it is that it will hurt American innovation. Maybe the latter is somewhat true but he doesn't understand that U.S. lawmakers are hell-bent on preventing China from accessing any kind of American tech that might give them even the slightest edge in a military conflict. Also, him being ethnically Chinese does make me wonder if he's completely unbiased in this matter (although I admit some non-ethnic Chinese Americans have made similar arguments).

    I do fear what this interpretation may mean for open-source software development. If the release of any OSS could be subject to export rules or even large fines and prison time for "aiding China's military program" this could have a huge detrimental effect on the overall movement. Note that a large part of RISC-V's attractiveness for the Chinese lies in its large software ecosystem, like compilers and GNU tooling, of which they have no clue how to make it themselves.

    1. jcday

      Re: Disagree

      The first problem is that RISC-V is now operating from a neutral third country. ITAR and similar laws can restrict what crosses American borders but can't regulate what crosses Swiss borders.

      In consequence, restrictions on US companies will force those companies to fork RISC-V, as they won't be able to export their changes, or to not use RISC-V at all. There's no other way around d it. Since the US market is small, globally-speakings, non-US developers are unlikely to make use of USian-only modifications. No sense spending more to sell to less.

      The second problem is that the authorised rest of the world won't buy US RISC-V chips because the export regulations will create extra bureaucracy, extra costs, and extra restrictions. Companies will buy from suppliers who don't add all the extra burdens.

      That means the US companies will have fewer customers, so prices will need to be higher, which will limit uptake in the US as well. It could well be that the only customers will be the US government, as the USG is restricted on its use of foreign companies.

      The third problem is RISC-V is open source, which means China will already have the code and will be able to clean-room implement anything the US adds that looks interesting.

      Indeed, so will the rest of the world, and US regulations won't cover features cloned by European companies.

      The fourth problem is that militaries don't generally use the latest and greatest. They prefer tried and tested technology, because there's nothing worse than a buggy CPU in a missile or an aircraft. What's more, milspec-ing a CPU is hard. Protection against heat extremes, radiation, and shock require a lot of R&D.

      Typically, the CPUs intended for such use will be old designs where the hardening has been accomplished and all the defects are ironed out. Hot patching a CPU with microcode in a fighter at 50,000 feet isn't really desirable.

      And then the system has to be built around it, tested, verified, and finally actually turned into something that cam be mass produced.

      This means that China's military is very unlikely to be using any US changes for at least a decade, maybe two. It's a very significant lead time.

      The extra time required to either steal some else's hardened design or to reverse-engineer's it independently is negligible in the process, so you have to assume China will do one or the other.

      Finally, this reminds me a lot of the debate around strong cryptography. Keeping the algorithms secret didn't help in any way. Rather, it led yo inferior communication and thus inferior designs with easy to exploit flaws. Security through obscurity was a disaster. The strongest algorithms are widely known and widely studied. Yes, that means hostile nations can use them too, but it's far more important that hostile nations be kept out of what friendly nations are doing.

      This isn't a joke. If the US relies on security through obscurity for their RISC-V changes, it pretty much guarantees that there will be defects. Intel is no novice, but there hasn't been a generation of CPU since the Pentium (which had a serious FPU defect) that hasn't had serious bugs.

      Security through obscurity is a very dangerous strategy. As I said earlier, you can't patch a CPU with new microcode at 50,000 feet.

      No, I see absolutely no advantages to secrecy in this. Especially for the military.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Disagree

        "ITAR and similar laws can restrict what crosses American borders but can't regulate what crosses Swiss borders."

        Americans simply say "If it violates our laws, then we will hold the individuals involved responsible"

        Meaning that in many cases if you're engaging in such trade it becomes dangerous to travel near/through North America or various other jurisdictions which kowtow to the USA

        The USA was often accused by Soviets of having vassals - which everyone laughed off. Covid proved those accusations actually have legs after all (The countries treated like vassals noticed and objected but nobody has broken away from the control)

      2. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Disagree

        Your assessment is wrong IMHO. If China were allowed to increase its technical prowess this would eventually trickle down to their military. A military which might become a potential adversary of the U.S. If we didn't respond we'd be forever chastened for not having prevented this in the first place.

        Secondly, by depriving China from our highest tech it could mean many Chinese engineers would flock to the West, depriving China from needed technical talent and reducing their economic growth, a key factor in a military industrial base. Yes, some knowledge would flow back to China, but that would be outdated by the time it arrived.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Disagree

      "he doesn't understand that U.S. lawmakers are hell-bent on preventing China from accessing any kind of American tech that might give them even the slightest edge in a military conflict."

      Whilst engaging in actions which ensure that China _will_ develop its own technology rather than using (and lagging behind) American tech

      China's sin is to innovate and be sucessful in business. The majority of 5G patents are held by Chinese companies, etc etc

      The USA is becoming increasingly irrelevant and introspective. Most of these actions are last-gasp actions by those falling behind, trying to use military might to force their will upon the rest of the world. It didn't work for Britain and it won't work for Uncle Sam, despite the lockin attempts in the military hardware sphere (F35 startup codes, etc)

      1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Disagree

        It will work, believe me. China is no match (militarily) for the U.S. today and won't be in the future if these sanctions start to take hold.

        The export ban of EUV machines has already stopped China dead in its tracks and every week the U.S. is imposing more and more crippling sanction against the Chinese tech-industry. It will mean they'll far farther and farther behind or will have to spend enormous amounts of money to keep up. This will bankrupt them, just as it bankrupted the Soviet Union.

        Companies reading between the lines would do well to relocate their manufacturing out of China. Those that don't will eventually perish.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Disagree @StrangerHereMyself

          Oh dear. Now there’s a unexpected novelty. A Luddite in the El Reger ranks. Others however may think to use not so kind a descriptor.

          1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

            Re: Disagree @StrangerHereMyself

            I am no Luddite. I would even proclaim I'm way ahead of my time. But you cannot ignore politics in this game of Hegemony.

            The world isn't a nice place. Wars will not be replaced by civilized discussion and mutual benefit. We see evidence of that every single day. Everything China does is to benefit China, and no one else.

            I don't think I'm alone in not wanting China to become the world's dominant power. For me, anyone here that proclaims differently is probably a Chinese or Russian shill.

            1. stewwy

              Re: Disagree @StrangerHereMyself

              This itself indicates a dearth of ideas on how to proceed and restrictions on ideas, and RISK-V is an idea not a physical product. Banning somebody from using an idea has never worked. You can ban a product in your own country, but that's about all.

              On this the US seems to be on a path to nowhere

              I think it's going to be the EU, for all its faults, that is going to come out ahead in all this, after all the crucial EUV stuff is built there and not in the US.

              The population overall is better educated, and it has built itself up to be an economic powerhouse, it all depends on how advanced Ukraine is after the Orki are kicked out and the rebuilding starts.

              I just hope the US doesn't fuck it up just because it can. Brexit was primarily I think driven by right wing US ideologues,

              China historically has been interested primarily in China (Taiwan for all its importance to the US, is a border dispute in Chinese eyes)

        2. Adrian 4

          Re: Disagree

          It didn't work for thermal cameras.

          can't speak for the military, but industry now has better, cheaper, more flexible products from China than from America.

  11. Tubz Silver badge

    China is probably laughing at the US Of A$$ right now, billions they would have spent on American chip tech, now being used for home grown tech and yes it may not be as fast or efficient, but for the couple of years they have been at it, they have come along way and they have the brains and resources to catch up. As Huang has said, restrictions will probably harm US Of Anal in the long term, China is happy to play the long waiting game !

    1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Let China play the waiting game. As long as they're waiting they're no threat.

  12. Hazzabeano

    This whole debacle is only going to push the USA further down the food chain (of which they can ill afford) - China and Russia have demonstrated, whether we like it or not, that they have the resources to catch up and possibly overtake the West in terms of technical innovation - all because we've forced their hand and there's no going back, I'm certainly a little apprehensive about what that future holds.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Russia - unlikely. They don't have the industrial base (no matter what they like to make out) and a demographic profile that looks like an upside down christmas tree (there are more 80yo women than 6yo girls, amongst other things) along with a population that's already dropped by over 1/4 in the last 30 years

      China definitely. It's regaining its position as the world's leading economy and technological innovator(*) after a couple of centuries hiccup caused by a combination of self-inflicted isolationism and being invaded by Britain because it wouldn't buy opium or trade goods, only wanting to be paid in silver.

      (*) A position it held from about 3500BC to the 1680s, when Portugual set out to destroy China's african trade along with the Silk Routes, in order to monopolise sea lanes

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Banning China from using RISC-V is never going to work - they can get access to open source software and designs regardless of the US' actions. Banning Chinese chips from being imported (whether by themselves or inside of another product) should be the goal.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Stop digging dark and deep holes to get lost and buried in ....

      .... if you want to survive and prosper in the many present future currents

      Banning China from using RISC-V is never going to work - they can get access to open source software and designs regardless of the US' actions. Banning Chinese chips from being imported (whether by themselves or inside of another product) should be the goal. .... Anonymous Coward

      That would be the death of Uncle Sam and a Great Satan in the global free trading sector of universal money and vital stock exchange markets, AC, and surely something to be gravely regarded and avoided at any cost with all costs lavishly and slavishly provided, for that is the price to be paid and the pain to be suffered for such a monumental impractical folly.

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