The Russian war on Ukraine has caused significant concern among technology companies across the world as the diplomatic and economic measures levied on Russia have far reaching implications for the future of semiconductors and electronics manufacturing.
Because the Ukraine supplies about 70% of the world’s semiconductor-grade neon gas, which is used in semiconductor manufacturing, concerns about potential supply chain issues remain with the industry already dealing with an ongoing chip shortage that has affected the market since late 2020.
"The evolving geopolitical scenario will undoubtedly affect global ICT (information and communication technology) demand in the coming months and years," said Andrea Siviero, associate research director, European Customer Insights & Analysis at International Data Corp (IDC).
Not surprisingly, IDC expects a steep decline and slow recovery for ICT spending in Russia and Ukraine while the impact of this decline on the global scale will be somewhat limited. The two countries only account for about 5.5% of all ICT spending in Europe and 1% worldwide.
However, IDC said the crisis’ impact on trade, supply chains and energy prices will no doubt affect the global economy on a broader scale.
In response to the Russian war, many tech companies have paused sales and support to Russia, hoping to put pressure on the Russian government to end hostilities.
Telecom and smartphones
Apple has paused all sales of its physical products in Russia and has restricted access to Apple Pay as well as blocked the access of many Russian-owned companies to its App store. Apple has also disabled some live traffic and incident features from its maps app.
Google is also disabling live traffic from Google Maps and has removed many Russian state run media outlets from its Play store and banned them from YouTube in Europe.
Finnish network equipment maker Nokia has stopped deliveries with its products typically supplying Russian companies MTS, Vimpelcom, Megafon and Tele2.
Ericsson has also suspended all deliveries to Russia.
HP has suspended all product shipments to Russia in response to the sanctions imposed on the country.
Dell has also suspended all product sales saying it was monitoring the situation to determine next steps while finding ways to relocate Ukraine-based employees.
Microprocessor giants Intel and AMD have both suspended all shipments to customers in both Russia and Belarus because of the war in Ukraine.
“We have launched an employee donation and matching campaign through the Intel Foundation that has already raised over $1.2 million for relief efforts, and we are proud of the work our teams in surrounding areas including Poland, Germany and Romania are doing to aid refugees,” Intel said in a statement. “We will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine and the global community in calling for an immediate end to this war and a swift return to peace.”
AMD would stop sales and distribution of its products as it complies with the export control situation established by the Biden Administration in the U.S.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest foundry, has also stopped all sales to Russia and its third parties as it is committing to the export control rules that were announced in Taiwan.
GlobalFoundries, a chip foundry based in Malta, New York, has also started complying with the U.S. rules for export control in stopping sales to Russia.
Given that the Russian electronics market is small compared to other parts of the world, the impact on sales will likely be minimal. However, the impact could be profound for Russian consumers, affecting what they can watch and what devices they can watch them on.