AMD suspends chip sales to Russia
After Russia invaded Ukraine, chipmaker AMD is now the latest global company to forge close ties with Russia. Radeon GPU and Ryzen processor maker has announced it is suspending semiconductor sales to Russia and neighboring Belarus, signaling that companies around the world are beginning to comply with US and Western sanctions against the Russia.
“Based on sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and other countries, AMD is currently suspending sales and distribution of our products in Russia and Belarus,” an AMD representative told PC World in an email, according to the post. “These are all AMD products and products that we supply (PCs, etc.) in Russia and Belarus.”
Belarus is seen by the West as an ally of Russia in its invasion of neighboring Ukraine. The country has allowed Russian President Putin to use its territory as a staging ground for the Russian army.
AMD is complying with a US Commerce Department requirement issued Feb. 24 that limits the export of microelectronics and other components. AMD’s actions follow previous US sanctions issued by the White House that are designed to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
To comply with the Biden administration’s new export requirements, various semiconductor companies had halted chip sales and shipments to Ukraine, including TSMC, which said it had suspended all sales to Russia, according to a Washington Post report published on February 25. TSMC is the largest semiconductor foundry in the world. In addition to halting sales to Russia, TSMC also said it was suspending sales to third parties who supply Russia with semiconductors.
Similarly, GlobalFoundries had said it also complied with US rules. The Semiconductor Industry Association, or SIA, said the trade group and its members have pledged to abide by all sanctions and rules “in response to the deeply disturbing events unfolding in Ukraine.”
For its part, Russia gets about 70% of its chips from China, and only 30% of semiconductors are imported from other sources, according to a Fortune report. Despite the low percentage of chips purchased from American, European and Asian companies, the chip blockade is expected to have a significant impact on the Russian economy. Chips that use semiconductor technologies developed in the United States are more advanced than their Chinese counterparts, and according to Fortune, some experts believe Chinese chips won’t be good enough to fly Russian missiles.
In consumer applications, AMD’s chips power computers and game consoles, meaning gamers and PC buyers in Russia won’t be able to buy the latest CPUs, GPUs, or even consoles like the Xbox Series. X from Microsoft and the PlayStation 5 from Sony. it will stop chip sales to Russia, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov had asked game companies around the world to temporarily ban accounts from Russia and Belarus.
“We’re going to hurt their ability to compete in the 21st century economy,” President Joe Biden said of the sanctions last month, noting that semiconductors are used to power cars, phones, computers. computers and even missiles. The embargo prohibits any chip designed with American technology from being sold to Russia, and it was a strategy the United States had previously employed under the Trump administration to cut off Chinese conglomerate Huawei.
The semiconductor war, paralleling the real-life conflict between Russia and Ukraine, is likely to have a long-term impact for both sides. Since neon, an essential material for making chips, is mined in Russia and Ukraine, experts believe that Russia could retaliate against US export restrictions by limiting its exports of neon and palladium. After the 2014 conflict in Ukraine, neon prices soared 600%. The world is also experiencing a shortage of semiconductors during the pandemic.
In addition to the severing of the semiconductor industry’s ties with Russia, other companies have also left Russia. Apple previously said it would halt hardware sales in the country, while financial giants Visa, MasterCard and American Express all said they were cutting ties with Russian banks. Similarly, Apple Pay and Google Pay no longer work in Russia as a result of the sanctions.