AMD, Intel and TSMC reportedly block chip sales to Russia

The corner of a CPU chip seen on a circuit board
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Major chip vendors have reportedly halted chip sales to Russia following its invasion of Ukraine last week, representing a potentially significant threat to a country with limited domestic production capacity.

TSMC, which is the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer, told Russian companies on Friday that it would suspend sales due to sanctions, according to reports. The move is likely to choke off chip supplies to Russian organizations such as Baikal Electronics and STC Module.

Reports suggested that the loss of Elbrus, a Russia-designed TSMC chip used in Russian military computing applications, would be a big loss for the country.

Intel and AMD have both suspended chip sales to Russia, with RBC reporting that its own sources had confirmed the news on Sunday.

The US announced semiconductor sanctions against Russia last week following its attack on Ukraine. The sanctions cut off exports of US semiconductors, telecommunication, encryption security, lasers, sensors, navigation, avionics and maritime technologies. It also called upon other countries to adopt similar restrictions.

These export controls were part of a broader campaign of sanctions against Russia that severed some of its banks from the international SWIFT payments network and personally targeted key Russian figures.

Intel and TSMC both sent statements to the media explaining that they will comply with export controls.


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The Semiconductor Industry Association, which represents semiconductor manufacturers in the US, issued a statement supporting the sanctions.

"The U.S. semiconductor industry is fully committed to complying with the new export control rules announced today in response to the deeply disturbing events unfolding in Ukraine," it said, adding that it did not feel the sanctions would affect its members sales significantly. Russia accounts for less than 0.1% of global chip purchases.

"The semiconductor industry has a diverse set of suppliers of key materials and gases, so we do not believe there are immediate supply disruption risks related to Russia and Ukraine," it added.

Danny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury has been a print journalist specialising in technology since 1989 and a freelance writer since 1994. He has written for national publications on both sides of the Atlantic and has won awards for his investigative cybersecurity journalism work and his arts and culture writing. 

Danny writes about many different technology issues for audiences ranging from consumers through to software developers and CIOs. He also ghostwrites articles for many C-suite business executives in the technology sector and has worked as a presenter for multiple webinars and podcasts.