In short: While Taiwan still allows Russia and Belarus to buy processors from businesses in the East Asian country, there are a few major caveats: their clock speeds cannot exceed 25 MHz and performance is limited to 5 GFLOPS.

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DigiTimes reports that the Taiwanese Ministry of Economy (MOEA) published this week a list of strategic high-tech goods banned from export to Russia and Belarus. The latter country is included because the DOE believes it can help Russia import such goods.

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The list, corresponding to categories 3-9 of the Wassenaar Arrangement, covers not only modern microcircuits, but also technologies that can produce or reverse-engineer them, including lithography equipment, scanners, and scanning electron microscopes.

As for the chips that Russia and Belarus can buy from Taiwan, there are a lot of restrictions; they must not have a performance of 5 GFLOPS or higher. By comparison, the Nintendo 3DS has a peak performance of 4.8 FP32 GFLOPS.

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In addition, exported chips cannot have ALUs greater than 32 bits wide, greater than 144 pins, a base gate delay time of less than 0.4 ns, or an external connection with a data rate of 2.5 MB/s or greater. Plus, their operating frequency should not reach 25 MHz or higher.

Sanctions imposed on Russia because of the war with Ukraine have hit hard on its chip supply, including Intel, AMD and IBM. stop sales shortly after the start of the invasion. The situation led to Russia allowing counterfeit import of chips and even component repurposing from household items.

The government has invested $38.3 billion in the local Russian microelectronics industry in hopes of ramping up production using the existing 90nm node and production 28nm chips by 2030, but Taiwan’s new restrictions are likely to affect those plans. In the face of tough sanctions, Russia may start using China Zhaoxin x86 chipswhich are not very suitable for anything other than office work.