Nvidia bans using translation layers for CUDA software

Nvidia has banned running CUDA-based software on other hardware platforms using translation layers in its licensing terms listed online since 2021, but the warning previously wasn’t included in the documentation placed on a host system during the installation process. This language has been added to the EULA that’s included when installing CUDA 11.6 and newer versions.

The restriction is  designed to prevent initiatives like ZLUDA, which both Intel and AMD have recently participated, and, perhaps more critically, some Chinese GPU makers from utilizing CUDA code with translation layers. We’ve pinged Nvidia for comment and will update you with additional details or clarifications when we get a response.

Tech war: Nvidia’s move to curb use of CUDA exposes China’s weak link in chip software

  • CUDA is a computing platform developed by Nvidia, which allows its GPU users to make best use of its chips in artificial intelligence (AI) and other applications
  • The move may potentially affect some Chinese GPU makers’ ability to use CUDA code with their hardware, according to several Chinese developers

Nvidia’s recent warning to developers about running its CUDA software, a programming toolkit, on third-party graphic processing units (GPUs) has exposed another weak link in China’s quest for chip self-sufficiency: its dependence on the US chip giant’s software.

CUDA is a computing platform developed by Nvidia, which allows its GPU users to make best use of its chips in artificial intelligence (AI) and other applications.

Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the world’s leading developers of computer central processing units, have also supported an open-source software project that enables their GPUs to run on CUDA.

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