Tech

Russia will not be able to buy semiconductors more powerful than the PS2 GPU

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had significant consequences at the international level, generating an unprecedented wave of sanctions against our neighbor in the Urals. These sanctions were primarily aimed at harming the Russian economy, but also limit your access to technology components that are basic both for the development of computer systems and for the manufacture of advanced weapons.

We already knew in broad strokes some of the keys to these sanctions, but thanks to the information published by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan today we have a little more clarity how that country will limit the export of products to Russia, and also to Belarus. If someone wonders why this last country is affected, the answer is simple, because it has collaborated from the first minute with Russia in the invasion of Ukraine.

Taiwanese Products Blocked to Russia and Belarus: Virtually Everything

It is the easiest and fastest way to describe the list of products blocked to both countries that the Taiwanese government has published. In it, practically all high-tech devices manufactured in that countryincluding anything that leaves TSMC’s facilities, and anything found in devices that use components from Taiwanese companies.

On the other hand, the export to Russia and Belarus of tools dedicated to the manufacture of semiconductors, which means that, even if they wanted to, neither country could start working with the right equipment to produce their own chips in advanced nodes.

As for semiconductors, Taiwan will allow Russia and Belarus to buy solutions that meet the following conditions:

  • that its performance do not exceed 5 GFLOPs. As a reference, I remind you that the Dreamcast had a power of 1.4 GFLOPs, and that the first Xbox reached 20 GFLOPs.
  • They shouldn’t work at 25MHz or more. Today, even the cheapest processors move in the 4,000 MHz range.
  • They can only contain 32-bit ALUs.
  • Chips that use more than 144 pins are also banned.
  • Semiconductors with a time delay on their logic gates of more than 0.4 nanoseconds.

Russia is facing a complicated situation due to all the sanctions it has received, since these threaten to lead it not only into a major economic recession, but also a technological one. Think of all that it means for a country not to be able to access advanced semiconductors and having to use solutions that, due to their power and possibilities, date back more than two decades. It’s like going back 20 years.

We will see how all this ends, and what path Russia ends up taking to try to minimize the impact of the sanctions. It’s not easy, that’s for sure, but that country has already started working to improve its own semiconductor industry, and it could produce its first 28nm chips in 2030as we told you at the time in this article.

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