Taiwan export ban limits Russia and Belarus to chips with frequencies under 25 MHz

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midian182

Posts: 8,011   +87
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In brief: While Taiwan still allows Russia and Belarus to purchase CPUs from businesses within the East Asian country, there are some big caveats: their clock frequencies be under 25 MHz, and performance is limited to under 5 GFLOPS.

DigiTimes reports that Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) published a list this week of strategic high-tech commodities banned from exportation to Russia and Belarus. The latter country is included as MOEA believes it could help Russia import such goods.

The list, which is in accordance with Category 3 to Category 9 of the Wassenaar Arrangement, covers not only modern chips but also technology that could make or reverse engineer them, including lithography equipment, scanners, and scanning electron microscopes.

As for the chips that Russia and Belarus can buy from Taiwan, there are plenty of restrictions; they must not have a performance of 5 GFLOPS or higher. The Nintendo 3DS, for comparison, has a peak performance rated at 4.8 FP32 GFLOPS.

Additionally, the exported chips cannot have an ALU wider than 32 bits, more than 144 pins, basic gate propagation delay time of less than 0.4 nanosecond, or an external interconnection with a data transfer rate of 2.5 MB/s or over. Plus, their operating frequency must not reach 25 MHz or higher.

The sanctions imposed on Russia over the war with Ukraine have hit its chip supply hard, with Intel, AMD, and IBM stopping sales soon after the invasion began. The situation led to Russia allowing bootleg chip imports and even repurposing components from household items.

The government has invested $38.3 billion in Russia's local microelectronics industry in the hope of ramping up production using its current 90nm node and manufacturing 28nm chips by 2030, but Taiwan's new restrictions will likely impact those plans. With sanctions biting, Russia might start using China's Zhaoxin x86 chips, which aren't much use for anything beyond office-based work.

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Endymio

Posts: 1,632   +1,632
This of course changes nothing. Russia will continue to purchase what it needs by first directing sales through China or India -- or any of the other 150+ nations which haven't sanctioned them. China alone inked a deal with Russia last month that will double their gas imports from Russia ... and paying in semiconductors is just as easy as yuan.
 

dangh

Posts: 620   +973
Pretty sure you can likely still operate an ICBM with 25mhz and 3DS cpus if you really have to since Russia had the things for a few decades now so, not comforting at all.
Sanctions are targetting civilians as normally civillians drive government. Military production is not this much dependant on sanctions.
And russia have their own CPUs which are enough for ICBM.

This of course changes nothing. Russia will continue to purchase what it needs by first directing sales through China or India -- or any of the other 150+ nations which haven't sanctioned them. China alone inked a deal with Russia last month that will double their gas imports from Russia ... and paying in semiconductors is just as easy as yuan.
That's great. They will have to build new infrastructure and China will suck them dry as Russia will have no negotiation power whatsoever in any talks with them.
And no, normal shops won't have Intel CPU's on shelves as they can be easily tracked to the idstributor, and if some seller from those 150+ nations will break the US specified sanctions - he is out of business. Somehow Huawei got hit by sanctions hard and no amount of 150+ nations can save them...
And sure, some small numbers of items still will find their way to people there. Not taxable, not easy to get, meaning russian market will be heavily cripled as long as their governmant performing military actions in Ukraine (and hopefully be in place as long as any ukraine land is under their occupation). And that's the point, and it works very well so far.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,632   +1,632
That's great. [Russia] will have to build new infrastructure and China will suck them dry
So you think it's 'great' that China -- the #1 threat to the US and the West in general, and the nation currently caging three million plus people in shoot-to-kill slave-labor genocide camps -- benefits from all this?
And that's the point, and it works very well so far.
The Russian ruble is substantially higher than it was before sanctions -- higher than it's been in several years in fact. Russia's balance of trade is at record levels, and every day they gain ground in Ukraine -- despite the US now sending Zelensky $40B a month. Is this what you call "working well"?
 

ypsylon

Posts: 520   +541
Having first hand experience with Soviet system and propaganda. They'll buy 500 of those 25MHz chips, stick them together and then announce:

Comrades, we achieved great success. Our Glorious nation has produced CPU with a 12.5 GHz frequency. Again Motherland has outclassed the rotten West.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 192   +158
This of course changes nothing. Russia will continue to purchase what it needs by first directing sales through China or India

+1 that is exactly what already happened, happens and will happen. There were also some items that were not allowed in Russia, Putin and many important rich Russians had access to (the same in North Korea) and was known that there is a China black market for those countries (through ships in international waters). Now most countries will just export more to China and China more to Russia. Only the EU pays more than 300 million euros/ day for gas/oil to Russia... (1% goes for the country, 99% for Putin + friends)
 

Momo56

Posts: 16   +6
He meant it works well to cripple the Russians. But it seems a simple causal statement eludes your understanding.

For now the russians don't seem crippled. Ask the ukrainians.

And bragging that your whole civilization is utterly dependent on components that are produced in a handful of factories, a large portion of them at arm's reach of China, is not very bright. It is the polar opposite of antifragile.
 

dangh

Posts: 620   +973
So you think it's 'great' that China -- the #1 threat to the US and the West in general, and the nation currently caging three million plus people in shoot-to-kill slave-labor genocide camps -- benefits from all this?
The Russian ruble is substantially higher than it was before sanctions -- higher than it's been in several years in fact. Russia's balance of trade is at record levels, and every day they gain ground in Ukraine -- despite the US now sending Zelensky $40B a month. Is this what you call "working well"?

China will surely benefit from 'all this'. It's not me thinking, it is them getting cheap oil and coal. How this wont benefit them, hmm?

And as for russian rouble... "tell me you know nothiong about economy not saying you know nothing of economy".
Russia put a lot of resources and burning their reserves only to keep rouble afloat. It is not so difficult to find what is really happening, but sure, if you're looking only at the current value not checking how they got there - kinda pointless;)
 

dangh

Posts: 620   +973
For now the russians don't seem crippled. Ask the ukrainians.

And bragging that your whole civilization is utterly dependent on components that are produced in a handful of factories, a large portion of them at arm's reach of China, is not very bright. It is the polar opposite of antifragile.

I don't need to ask ukrainians. I do ask people from russia, which I have contact with and everyone there is affected by sanctions. Thousands of them left russia and went to other countries just to keep their standards of life, but most of them can't do that. so, seems it works as expected.

And who is bragging? Intel factories are everywhere, and who is doing the 'dirty work' doean't really matter. I still would like to see China originated top-performing CPU, please. As long as the designers live in silicon valley, and it is much cheaper to build it overseas - that's kinda normal thing to do. That what you're having when companies and countries cooperate - supply chains, capitalism, world trade, market and so on. And then you have Putler, who simply lost it.
 

Momo56

Posts: 16   +6
And who is bragging? Intel factories are everywhere, and who is doing the 'dirty work' doean't really matter. I still would like to see China originated top-performing CPU, please. As long as the designers live in silicon valley, and it is much cheaper to build it overseas - that's kinda normal thing to do. That what you're having when companies and countries cooperate - supply chains, capitalism, world trade, market and so on. And then you have Putler, who simply lost it.

Our civilization is utterly dependent on these components. Even basic coffee machines need them now. If you think this is a great feature, more power to you. I think this is really dangerous and we could be in a very different world in a hurry.
 

Tantor

Posts: 337   +601
I can already imagine Russians typing angrily from their Khrushchyovkas, about how the west is evil and unfair.

Russians use Corsair, Razer, Logitech, and other Chinese/Taiwanese manufactured keyboards. Just like the one you're typing on now.
 

winjer

Posts: 442   +2,034
Russians use Corsair, Razer, Logitech, and other Chinese/Taiwanese manufactured keyboards. Just like the one you're typing on now.

And all of them use chips that will probably get banned.
So go get yours at the store, while they last.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,632   +1,632
He meant it works well to cripple the Russians. But it seems a simple causal statement eludes your understanding.
You don't cripple a nation's economy by doubling the world price of their two largest exports. Nor do sanctions perform any function but virtue signaling when three quarters of the world's nations reject them.

As for causal relationships, it's intelligent to consider not only at the most obvious direct effects of your actions, but their secondary and tertiary effects as well. No sane individual believes that driving Russia and China into a more powerful, binding alliance is helpful for world security.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,632   +1,632
Russia put a lot of resources and burning their reserves only to keep rouble afloat.
Long-term, a national currency's exchange rate is determined solely by the balance of payments. Russia's international balance sheet has risen sharply since the war, with record sales of oil, natural gas, and metals, all at record price levels. The propaganda that the rising ruble is due only to "temporary emergency measures" by the Kremlin was difficult to swallow two months ago. Today, it's impossible -- except by those with closed eyes and deep throats.
 
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