Chipmaker Intel is set to launch two new artificial intelligence (AI) chips specifically designed for the Chinese market, according to a white paper published on the company’s website. These chips, named HL-328 and HL-388, will have reduced capabilities compared to their global counterparts in order to comply with U.S. export controls and sanctions.

The launch of these China-specific chips is scheduled for June and September 2024, respectively. This move comes after the United States tightened regulations on the types of AI technology that can be exported to China late last year.

While the HL-328 and HL-388 will share similar hardware features, such as on-chip memory and high-bandwidth memory, with Intel’s latest Gaudi 3 line, their performance will be significantly restricted to meet the export control requirements.

This isn’t the first time a major chipmaker has taken such a step. Rival company Nvidia also announced plans for three China-specific AI chips earlier this year, with their H20 model expected for wider availability in the second quarter of 2024.

The impact of these reduced-capability chips on the Chinese AI market remains to be seen. While they may not be suitable for cutting-edge applications, they could still be valuable for tasks that don’t require the highest level of performance. The development also highlights the ongoing geopolitical tensions between the US and China, spilling over into the technological landscape.