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posted by hubie on Tuesday May 10, @03:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the tuck-my-worries-underneath-my-ARM dept.

UK sanctions Russian microprocessor makers, banning them from ARM:

The UK government added 63 Russian entities to its sanction list on Wednesday [04 May]. Among them are Baikal Electronics and MCST (Moscow Center of SPARC Technologies), the two most important chip makers in Russia.

The two sanctioned entities will now be denied access to the ARM architecture since Arm Ltd., the licensee, is based in Cambridge, England, and will have to comply with the sanctions.

[...] The two firms are considered vital for Russia's technological independence efforts, as they are expected to step up and cover the shortages created by the lack of processors made by Western chip-makers such as Intel and AMD.

[...] While these processors [the most advanced processors Baikai and MCST currently supply], and the much worse mid-tier and low-tier chips that carry the Baikal and MCST sticker, don't feature impressive performance, they could keep some vital parts of the Russian IT section going during shortages.

Although Russia has eased licensing regulations on other sanctioned items, such as software, that will most likely not happen here.

[...] However, it is important to remember that Baikal and MCST processors are made in foreign foundries, like Samsung's and TSMC's, and those two wouldn't infringe Arm's licensing rules and international law to facilitate Russian interests.

Baikal, which holds a valid license to produce at 16nm, only has a design license for its upcoming models, not manufacturing, so the only solution is to take the production domestically and ignore the rules.

[...] The Russian government has already approved an investment of 3.19 trillion rubles (38.2 billion USD) to counteract this in April 2022, but boosting local production will take many years. In the most optimistic scenarios, Russian foundries will be able to produce 28nm chips by 2030.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by driverless on Wednesday May 11, @12:42PM (2 children)

    by driverless (4770) on Wednesday May 11, @12:42PM (#1244026)

    Yup, very much so. To reply to the comment that started this thread:

    Now Russia "must" build out their own designs and production.

    What with? Russia is now a pariah state with no access to anything they'll need to do this. They'd have to recreate forty years of worldwide research and investment into semiconductor design and manufacturing, starting from almost nothing, all the while operating in a barely-functional kleptocracy in which 90% of the funding they're supposed to have will get diverted into various oligarch's coffers. Russia has a handful of barely-solvent semiconductor companies struggling to run an even smaller number of antique fabs, and that's it. Outside of stuff smuggled in from China, there's nothing there, and no chance of there being anything there in the future.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @05:10PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @05:10PM (#1244103)

    They may have to "recreate" forty years of worldwide research, but it's not like they're going to re-invent it all from scratch. They've had forty years of watching what the world has done to learn from and they have their own researchers who are entirely capable of doing state of the art design work. What took the world 40 years to create from nothing will take substantially less to recreate with the knowledge that was learned. Standing on the shoulders of giants so to speak.

    Russia didn't have any incentive to go down this road, until now. But now that they're forced to, they just might surprise the rest of the world (some day).