The US government imposed an export ban on advanced chip technology for reasons of national security.

According to the government, two types of ‘ultrawide bandgap’ semiconductor materials are now prohibited from being exported. The same applies to some types of electronic computer-aided design (ECAD) and pressure-boosting combustion technology. The government stated these products are vital to national security and should therefore not fall into foreign hands.

Affected technology

The semiconductor materials in question are likely to be gallium oxide and diamond. The materials are processed under extremely high temperatures and voltage conditions. Gallium oxide and diamond are suitable for designing weapon systems.

ECAD systems are software tools for advanced processor design, analysis, optimization and validation. The systems are particularly useful for 3-nanometer designs and below. These processors are applied by both corporations and the military. Some appear in military communications satellites.

Finally, gas turbine tech was banned from export, which see use in applications like missiles and hypersonic systems.

Trade war with China

Experts view the export bans as a measure to prevent China from acquiring advanced technology. The US wants to block the country from developing a successful chip industry. As it stands, Chinese companies primarily produce 7-nanometer chips. The export restrictions will severely limit the development of 3-nanometer technology and below.

Tip: ASML share price plummets following trade ban rumours