USA: More Control Over Technology Exports

by | 16. Aug 2022 - 12:06 | Politics

Stricter rules on the export of galllium oxide and chip design software.

The U.S. wants to impose stricter controls on the export of several key technologies to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. These include pressure gain combustion technology (PGC), which could contribute to the further development of gas turbines, and above all areas of semiconductor technology. For example, special software for designing high-performance electronic components known as GAAFET transistors. The rule (PDF), which went into effect yesterday (Monday), also covers two semiconductor materials that can operate under high voltages and temperatures: Gallium oxide (Ga2O3) and diamond. All of these technologies have the potential for military use, and control over them is essential to U.S. national security, according to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

At their late 2021 meeting, the 42 members of the Wassenaar Arrangement, which includes the U.S., had already added these four to the list of technologies and materials that member states inform each other about exporting and requests to supply. The goal of the agreement, which has been in place since 1996, is to increase transparency with regard to the proliferation of conventional weapons and dual-use goods and technologies, i.e., those that can also be used for military purposes.

Although the new provisions are not explicitly directed against China, they are seen there as an attempt to slow down the Chinese chip industry, as the Global Times newspaper, which is considered close to the state, writes. The country has not yet been able to catch up with South Korea or Taiwan in this area.

Photo: iStock/kynny

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