ARM thinks the performance of Neoverse V series of processors is too high to receive US approval, and has declined to provide them to China’s Alibaba, according to the Financial Times.
ARM has decided that the US and UK would not provide licenses to export the intellectual property to China under recent stringent export control rules set in October (see Advanced logic, memory, YMTC come under China export controls).
The Neoverse processors are aimed data center operations and have been split into the V series, optimized for performance, the N series optimized for energy efficiency and the E series optimized for throughput (see ARM shows Neoverse V2, plans V3 for 2023).
The move hurts Alibaba’s T-head (Honeybadger) chip subsidiary and other Chinese groups. It will also hurt ARM that used to get considerable revenue from China but ended up in dispute with its own China subsidiary. In April of this year ARM appeared to have resolved the issue after a two-year impasse (see ARM moves to regain control in China, clear path to IPO).
Chinese chip designers may be able to switch to the Neoverse N2 but this would leave them at a performance disadvantage compared with those companies using Neoverse V2 processor cores.