Tuesday, August 16, 2022
HomeNewsPutin sparks panic with export ban impacting smartphones, cars and medical equipment

Putin sparks panic with export ban impacting smartphones, cars and medical equipment


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is threatening the supplies of key materials used in the production of semiconductors. According to the consulting firm Techcet, the production of three materials critical to the manufacture of these electronic chips could be impacted by the situation. These are neon, palladium and C4F6 – three materials that are “essential to the development” of the chips and are “irreplaceable”.

Neon is a gas that is essential to the operation of lasers used to etch the chips.

Russia produces a lot of neon because it has a large steel industry – but it is usually sent to Ukraine where it is extracted and purified.

Techcet president Lita Shon-Roy said: “If the current situation escalates, US chipmakers may suffer material supply interruptions.”

But Euractiv reports that Russia is also one of the world’s largest palladium producers – a rare metal also used in the manufacture of some semiconductors.

Russia supplies an estimated 37 percent of the world’s supply, second only to South Africa (40 percent).

It comes as manufacturers around the world are struggling to find enough microprocessors for their products.

In September, Toyota slashed its worldwide vehicle production by 40 percent because of the chip shortage.

Rival carmakers including Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Nissan, Daimler, BMW and Renault have also cut vehicle production in recent months.

It is particularly sparking alarm bells in the EU, who have an ambition to become a leader in chip production.

According to Techcet, the situation will “certainly slow down the growth trajectory that the EU chip industry is hoping to see”.

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According to reports, a “draft declaration” between EU member states has been drawn up with an agreement to “phase out all use of Russian gas and oil”.

European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen said Saturday evening that the EU should end its “dependency” on Russian energy sources.

And the UK is likely to follow suit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to set out an “energy supply strategy” as his climate policies and UK gas production come under scrutiny during the Ukraine crisis.

He said he would outline how energy needs would be met as concern grows over western reliance on Russian oil and gas.

Mr Johnson said the UK was looking at using more domestic energy resources.



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