More than three months have passed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In this time, companies and countries around the world have carried out various economic sanctions on Russia. This time, Taiwan announced that it will only sell chips operating below 25 MHz to Russian and Belarusian companies. These chips should offer a performance close to 5 GFLOPs, this is much less than the power of a PS2. This means that the two countries will not be able to rely on any modern technology from one of the world’s largest manufacturers.
The decision came from Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, which published a list of items that cannot be exported to Russia and Belarus. This list refers to any state-of-the-art technology developed in the country, as well as the instruments and machinery used to manufacture the chips.
The ban covers articles that fall under categories 3 to 9 of the Wassenaar Agreement, an agreement that refers to the control of exports of technological goods, among other things, in which 42 countries participate, the majority being made up of North America. North and Europe, continents that most imposed sanctions on Russia and Belarus.
These groups cover electronics, computing, telecommunications, information security, sensors and lasers, navigation and aviation, marine, air propulsion, and aerospace.
Both countries cannot buy chips that have the following technical specifications:
- Performance of more than 5 GFLOPs
- Operate at 25 MHz or higher
- More than 32 bits
- Have an external connection with data transfer rate of 2.5 MB/s or more
- Have more than 144 pins
- Have an operational delay of less than 0.4 nanoseconds
- In addition, companies from Russia and Belarus will not be able to buy any type of equipment such as scanners, microscopes or any tools used to create chips and reverse engineer them.
Taiwan is one of the largest manufacturers of chips and chip-making machinery in the world. So the two countries no longer have the best and most up-to-date technology. With sanctions mounting ever higher, Russia wants to start investing in its own manufacturing, starting with 90nm lithography this year and reaching 28nm by 2030.