President Joe Biden's administration is under pressure from lawmakers to restrict American companies from working on RISC-V, an open-source chip technology widely used in China.

RISC-V competes with proprietary technology from Arm Holdings and can be used in various applications, from smartphones to artificial intelligence processors.

Lawmakers, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Mark Warner, express concerns about national security, suggesting that China may exploit open collaboration among American companies to advance its semiconductor industry.

Some lawmakers want the Commerce Department to require export licenses for American companies engaging with Chinese entities on RISC-V technology.

The U.S.-China tech war over chip technology escalated last year with export restrictions, and the Biden administration plans to update these restrictions.

Huawei Technologies in China has embraced RISC-V, while U.S. companies like Qualcomm and Alphabet's Google are also involved in RISC-V projects.

Potential U.S. government restrictions on RISC-V could complicate collaboration between American and Chinese companies on open technical standards and hinder China's pursuit of chip self-sufficiency.

Jack Kang, vice president of SiFive, a California startup using RISC-V, sees such restrictions as a significant mistake for technology, leadership, innovation, and job creation.

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