U.S. Considers Including Open-Source in China’s Semiconductor Controls
U.S. House China Task Force Recommends Control Over Semiconductor Instruction Set RISC-V
Used in smartphones, Wi-Fi routers, etc.
The United States is reportedly intensifying its oversight of advanced semiconductor technology in China and is discussing potentially incorporating open-source technology, accessible to anyone, into its oversight measures.
The New York Times (NYT) reported on the 10th (local time) that the House China Task Force recommended that the government include the semiconductor instruction set known as RISC-V in the mass semiconductor control targets list.
RISC-V, an open-source developed by the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), is designed to allow semiconductors to perform specific operations according to instructions. It is used to design processors for devices such as smartphones, disk drives, Wi-Fi routers, and tablets.
As a result, the NYT explained that a new debate has emerged in the U.S. in recent months over the control of this open-source, which could aid in military development.
Democratic Representative Ro Khanna, a member of the China Task Force, pointed out that “The Chinese Communist Party is already attempting to use RISC-V’s design architecture to undermine our export controls” and “RISC-V’s participants should be focused on advancing technology.”
Despite the novelty of open-source control, it has not been met with unanimous approval. Dave Ditzel, the Chief Technology Officer of semiconductor startup Esperanto Technologies, strongly criticized the approach. He described it as “foolish,” likening it to an absurd attempt to solve a problem by banning the alphabet just because the Chinese might read a book on nuclear weapons written in English.
By. Dae Young Ko