Is Nvidia Bypassing Washington?

Nvidia just signed a deal with Qatari telecoms group, Ooredoo, allowing the company to use its AI technology in data centers in five Middle Eastern Countries. This is Nvidia’s first big launch in a region where the Biden Administration curbed the export of advanced U.S. chips to stop Chinese firms from using the area as a back door to access AI.

Ooredoo will be able to provide its data centers in Qatar, Algeria, Tunisia, Oman, Kuwait, and the Maldives with direct access to Nvidia’s AI and graphics processing technology.

Nvidia’s senior vice president of telecom, Ronnie Vasishta, said, “Our b2b clients, thanks to this agreement, will have access to services that probably their competitors (won’t) for another 18 to 24 months.” They did not identify the exact Nvidia technology to be installed.

Washington approves select Nvidia technology to be shipped to the Middle East, but curbs exports of the company’s sophisticated chips. Ooredoo’s investment of  $1 billion will boost regional data center capacity by 20-25 additional megawatts on top of the current 40 megawatts and is expected to almost triple that by the end of the decade.

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