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Taiwan Imposes Further Microchip Restrictions on Russia

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs has imposed further restrictions on technology that can be sold to Russia and Belarus including modern chipsets that could be used in their war effort against the Ukraine. Taiwan made the decision in hopes of further deterring Russia from its invasion of Ukraine, particularly hoping to harm its war efforts – or at the least, prevent Russia from using modern chips in its war machine.

According to a report from The Register, it seems that Taiwan will ban the sales of any modern chipset to Russia, seemingly anything made over the past 30 years. These restrictions will make it harder for Russia to source new chips to use in their war efforts but it will also impact general production items, such as smartphones, consumer electronics and vehicles.

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The Register has noted that the following specs are the new limitations that are being put into place, restricting Russia to everything below the provided stats.

  • 5 gigaflops or higher performance
  • An arithmetic logic unit of 32 bits or wider
  • External interconnect speeds of 2.5 MB/s or higher
  • More than 144 pins
  • A basic gate propagation delay of less than 0.4 nanoseconds

You might be looking at that and thinking to yourself – well that’s not too bad. For perspective, the Intel i386 from the 1980’s was introduced into the market with a whopping 12.5MHz and reached 40MHz later in the decade. The restrictions call for chips to be 5 GFLOPS and lower, whereas the PlayStation 2 release with 6.2 GFLOPS capacity. The point is that there are chips introduced almost 40 years ago that wouldn’t be allowed to be acquired by Russia, according to the restrictions.

Russia does currently have its own semiconductor industry that, in theory, could resolve this but it is by no means competitive, or even viable. Russia believes it can crack 28nm technology by 2030, without the restrictions, which means it would now need to shift everything in-house. However, that still doesn’t count for raw materials which even Taiwan is struggling with. For further comparison, China is still trying to develop a competitive semiconductor industry, despite being far more financially stable than Russia, so it’s unlikely that Russia would create theirs anytime soon.

Source: The Register

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