The BIS, a division of the US Department of Commerce, has announced new export restrictions on technology that is considered to be critical to US national security. The rule, which applies to four technologies, was published on Monday, and supports the manufacture of advanced semiconductors and gas turbine engines.
All four technologies are covered by the Wassenaar Arrangement, which also implies that 41 other states will enforce stricter export controls on these goods. China, who is a key competitor of the United States, is missing from the list.
"We are preventing nefarious end use of the four technologies identified in today's rule by imposing controls under a multilateral framework," said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea D. Rozman Kendler.
Gallium oxide and diamond, two ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor substrates, will be subjected to stricter export controls under the new rule, which also applies to devices manufactured from gallium nitride or silicon carbide. Devices manufactured using these materials are said to have enhanced military potential since they operate under more severe conditions, such as higher voltage or higher temperature.
The new rule affects pressure gain combustion (PGC), a technique under investigation that might increase gas turbine thermal efficiency. PGC has potential for terrestrial and aerospace applications, including rockets and hypersonic systems.
Electronic Computer-Aided Design (ECAD) software was developed to assist in the design of integrated circuits with the GAAFET structure. Engineers utilize ECAD software to design, analyze, optimize, and validate the performance of ICs and PCBs. This technology is critical to increasing process nodes to 3nm and below.
Limiting ECAD systems will have a small short-term impact on China's chipmaking industry, as no Chinese foundry has the capability to produce such advanced chips at this time (SMIC is the closest with a 7nm DUV-based node). However, future breakthroughs will likely take longer when it comes to sub-3nm processes.
The United States imposed additional restrictions on chipsmaking tools exporting to China earlier this month. Huawei reported a second decline, while the BIS listed the business on the Entity List three years ago.