back to article Taiwan bans exports of chips faster than 25MHz to Russia, Belarus

Taiwan's government has enacted a strict ban on the export of computer chips and chip-making equipment to Russia and Belarus, a move that will make it even harder for the two countries to access modern processors following export bans from other countries. The island nation is the world's largest advanced chip manufacturing …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "An arithmetic logic unit of 32 bits or wider"

    Which rules out 386 either... I've some floppies with 16 bit and 8 bit applications they may like... if they are not under sanctions too...

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: "An arithmetic logic unit of 32 bits or wider"

      That's the headline - not the speed. They're limited to 16 bit chips. (And the 386SX was 32 bit internally so probably falls foul of the ban.)

      1. zuckzuckgo

        Re: "An arithmetic logic unit of 32 bits or wider"

        Forcing them to use 16 bit Windows 3.x would certainly qualify as a crime against humanity?

  2. Scene it all

    It will be difficult to run a bank on even a roomfull of Arduinos.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Lower spec Arduinos only. There are plenty that are too fast. All Raspberry Pi's are banned, including the Pico.

      10Mb/s networking is allowed in half duplex mode but full duplex hits the sanctioned speed. Dial-up and ISDN internet are in but broad band would require a wide interpretation of "up to" to be slow enough. (Starlink is way too fast)

      Floppy disks are OK but all hard disks with an IDE interface or better are out. ST-506 and ST-412 hard disks are slow enough. Forget PCIe, PCI and ISA cards. CD-ROMs are theoretically OK up to x16 speed as are x1 speed DVDs but I do not remember any with a slow enough interface.

      There is no need to go back to PS/2 keyboards. USB1 is slow enough even at full speed. Video is a problem: 640x480@60Hz black and white looks OK at first sight (18.432Mb/s) but the extra bandwidth required for overscan would take that over the 20Mb/s limit. Colour or grey scale really cut into the resolution or frame rate. ZX Spectrum graphics might just fit under the limit even when you include the "4bits/pixel" output rate.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Overclocked water-cooled BBC micros then ?

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Do Taiwan control sales of Arduinos and Raspberry Pis? I know Broadcom use Singapore fabs.

        1. Platinum blond(e)

          Broadcom uses TSMC primarily for their current chip fabrication. The Singapore facilities are mostly for packaging.

          Plus, Broadcom moved their HQ to the US to grease the skids on their takeover of... Broadcom IIRC. So they are already required to adhere to any US sanctions.

      3. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
        Windows

        Alternatives

        Nice analysis, Flocke.

        Perhaps the Russians will start building and learning to effectively-program massively-parallel-processing computers composed of Transputer chips.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          composed of Transputer chips.

          I've read Transputin chips... <G>

          1. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

            Re: composed of Transputer chips.

            Transputin's a nice name, too.

            1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: composed of Transputer chips.

              Ra ra Transputin?

              Nah... the one in the late seventies style, if you'd be so kind --->

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: composed of Transputer chips.

                Trans-Trans-Transputin - Russia's greatest drag queen?

                1. zuckzuckgo

                  Re: composed of Transputer chips.

                  Certainly a drag on the economy.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: composed of Transputer chips.

              Is Transputin a new sexual identity?

              Regardless the sooner Putin gets chips the better.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: composed of Transputer chips.

                > Is Transputin a new sexual identity?

                Sounds more like a procedure. They be put'in something extra somewhere. Maybe some dangly bits.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Alternatives

          Looking back at history, when the wall finally came down, we learnt what Russian computer scientists had been up to, given the export restrictions on western technology.

          One of the surprising things discovered was that because they didn't have massive computer power they focused on algorithms, so in many cases their algorithms were far superior to the solutions adopted by those who had simply thrown computing power at it.

          So, yes perhaps the Russians will build massively distributed computing platforms (of which a neutral net is just one example...), whilst the platforms might not be very performant, expect their algorithms to manage the platform to be top-notch...

          1. Blank Reg

            Re: Alternatives

            the difference now is that there has been a huge brain drain in Russia which only accelerated with putin's latest idiocy. Russia was already doomed to decline due to demographics and he has made it much worse. The people they need the most, the young and well educated, are leaving in huge numbers.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Alternatives

              Yep, not only can they not get or make the products themselves, they are finding it harder and harder to get engineers to install maintain kit.

            2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
              Boffin

              Brain-Drain / "I'm (Not) Leavin' on a Jet Plane ..."

              Sure, they're leaving ... if they can. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a long list of brainy, educated people classified as "Russian National Security Resources".

              1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                Re: Brain-Drain / "I'm (Not) Leavin' on a Jet Plane ..."

                I'd also not be surprised if all those people are busy doing hard labour for the next 20 years in a Siberian prison camp, for the crime of not wanting to be involved in Putin's far-right-wing despotic regime.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Alternatives

            Actually mostly they'd been copying stuff.

            If there's one thing we've learned from the war in Ukraine it's that the supposed Russian brilliance in all sorts of sectors is just a fantasy.

            1. Trollslayer
              Happy

              Re: Alternatives

              Except they may need better fabrication methods other that they have now.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Alternatives

            Remembering the recent news that Russia intends to use prisoners for IT work amidst exodus of skilled IT professionals, I would maybe not hold my breath while waiting for highly sophisticated and optimized software to appear to these sub-32bit, sub-25Mhz computiners.

      4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        I think Pis are made in China, not Taiwan (political arguments about whether Taiwan is part of China aside; I'm not going to agree with the PRC on that one). I stand to be corrected, the finished products are put together in Pen Y Coed which is definitely in neither. Somehow I can't see them as being eager to start exporting them to Russia.

    2. Kabukiwookie

      The requirement for faster hardware and more RAM comes from the inefficiency of the code that's written.

      I've seen heavy (at the time) appiications that were only modifiying and reformatting clear-text data.

      The (Java) application was using 8GBs of RAM.

      The same could have been done with an AWK script of just a few kB. Probably would have performed a lot better too.

      1. MacroRodent
        Flame

        Bloatware

        The requirement for faster hardware and more RAM comes from the inefficiency of the code that's written.

        Amen, brother. My most hated bloatware is a local application that is essentially a search-and-replace that can handle a bunch of files, including ones in zip, gz etc archives. Somehow the implementers had managed to make it require both Java and Python scripts, and deliver it in a container that naturally contains a particular version of both run-times. And of course it is slow and pretty hard to use. It probably could be reimplemented as fairly straight-forward Perl script. But it is not in my department.

        But it must be said most problems do become far easier it you can assume at least 32-bit address space, so even though I like efficient, non-bloated solutions, I do not pine for the 16-bit days. Been there, good riddance.

      2. Trollslayer
        Facepalm

        Something else...

        The joy of compilers helps.

      3. elaar

        Our support department had a number of Python scripts that did Network wide scanning/scraping and automation of 1000s of CPEs. The logs showed the server was often hitting 6GB RAM usage.

        We re-wrote them in C and max usage came down to 112MB.

        To be fair, it wasn't just Python's fault. The people that coded the original scripts were the type that think they can code in Python because they've skimmed through a few chapters of "Learning Python".

        1. Blank Reg

          Bad programmers can make any code in any language on any platform inefficient

      4. Stuart Castle Silver badge

        Requirements for faster hardware and more RAM don't necessarily come from inefficient code. Sometimes people's needs do change, and sometimes those changes do require more hardware resources.

        That said, unless you are dealing with a *lot* of text (and I'm talking tens of millions of pages here, so way beyond the needs of 99% of people) and absolutely need it to be in RAM and not streamed from disk, 8GB of RAM is excessive .

        As for Java, while I use it if I need to, I am not a fan. I think Java can be massively inefficient, as you point out. It's always felt like it's a nice idea, but it feels a bit like something you might design if you wanted to copy C++ but not really. I also don't like the idea of having to include hundreds of meg of runtime for a small app that should be a few hundred K.

    3. katrinab Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Arduinos are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too fast.

      The fastest chip they could get is a 286, but it would have to be an Intel one, not one of the faster AMD variants that came later.

      Compared to chips from that era, Arduinos are in world's fastest supercomputer territory.

  3. bpfh
    Trollface

    Not sure about Doom

    That was rough on a 33mhz, and acceptable on a 40. Maybe Castle Wolfenstein 3D? That worked well on a 286. Putin would like that, given his obsessions with Nazis

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RUN HE IS BEHIND YOU

      3D Monster Maze on the ZX81 ought to be safe.

      Putin can pretend that Rex is a Nazi or something and parrot that line on state TV...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    meanwhile in Russia...

    they announced, today, a NEW! RUSSIAN! laptop, yeah baby!!! I only caught the end of the news, something about 1.5Ghz processor ('Baikal', if I caught it right), up to 16Gb ram (presumably Russian-grown), 512Gb hdd (Russian-built). Presumably with all-Russian linuxky OS. To be released in autumn. This year.

    p.s. yes, I'm pretty sure it _will_ come with a screen and keyboard (both Russian-made).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: meanwhile in Russia...

      Meanwhile in the real world…

      Neither “announcements” nor vapourware produce meaningful output. Good luck with your new laptop, hopefully it arrives before you’re shipped off to the front to die for an old man’s ego and delusions of empire.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: meanwhile in Russia...

        >to die for an old man’s ego and delusions of empire.

        But they definitely had weapons of mass destruction and could use them in 45mins.

        Anyway ‘We Will, In Fact, Be Greeted As Liberators’

        1. johnfbw

          Re: meanwhile in Russia...

          I think a few people missed your parallels to a similar war...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: meanwhile in Russia...

            I think zero people missed the parallels, we just ignored the tenuous equivalence.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: meanwhile in Russia...

        woosh!

    2. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge
      Trollface

      Re: meanwhile in Russia...

      In Russia russian OS books you gulag accommodation

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: meanwhile in Russia...

        In Russia, OS executes you...

      2. zuckzuckgo

        Re: meanwhile in Russia...

        All accommodations handled through ScareBnB.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: meanwhile in Russia...

      Arm based, it's basically a low end phone.

      1. Sgt_Oddball

        Re: meanwhile in Russia...

        Apple seem to be doing alright with that concept...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: meanwhile in Russia...

          Apple gear would wipe the floor with it.

  5. DrXym

    Russia's secret weapon

    I bet Taiwan forgot to ban exports of a turbo switch.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't blame the Taiwanese for wanting to make invasion of smaller neighbors as unpalatable as possible.

  7. Richard Boyce

    Intermediaries

    What's to stop Russia from buying indirectly through intermediaries, though it would cost more?

    What's to stop Russia importing products such as laptops from Chinese manufacturers that include such chips? Would Taiwan or the US sanction such companies?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Intermediaries

      Nothing except it would cost them many times list price, take a long time, be complicated to setup, involve limited supply volumes and long delivery - and when what's actually delivered is a box with a brick in it - who are they going to complain to ?

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Intermediaries

        They could probably buy these PCs and mainframes!

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Intermediaries

          IBM downsizing in action

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Intermediaries

            >IBM downsizing in action

            I wonder which generation of IBM mainframes would comply with the ban...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Intermediaries

              sAll IBM mainframes including s360 and later had 32 bit ALUs, so you're really looking at systems going back into the 1960's.

              But Russia once had home-grown reverse engineered s360 and s370 clones, as well as VAX-11/750 and VAX-11/780 clones.

              From this description of the banned processors, I would also want to ban bit-slice processors, that can be ganged to produce wider word length systems.

              1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
                Flame

                bit-slice processors

                I've seen some interesting 1980s-era computers made with AMD 2900-series bit-slice processors.

                (icon 'cause you could [figuratively] open a rack, plunk down a pan and fry some eggs.)

        2. Sgt_Oddball

          Re: Intermediaries

          Holy miniaturised circuits... I wonder how much a LEO would cost from them?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Intermediaries

        While all your points are absolutely logical and valid, well... none of this really matters - at least in Russia. Their problem (well, one of many problems, in fact) is that they take themselves extremely, no - _extremely_, no, trying again, _EXTREMELY!_ seriously, and do their best (and then some!) to match and outdo the cliche image of Russia and Russians which is held around the world. And they go for it, as if their whole life depended on it, totally oblivious that the world started for a moment, blinked, shrugged and moved on. And then, 3534646 years later, the Russians emerge from the ruins, triumphant: THERE! SEE?! WE DID IT!!!!!!

        I really feel sorry for them, because all the time I see they have a really great potential, they _could_ achieve great things. Instead... '1s place in the world-championship of city-levelling'...

      3. TheMole

        Re: Intermediaries

        Be a brave person that tried that, they would have to put rubber gloves on before opening their front door for the rest of their lives.

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Intermediaries

        "and when what's actually delivered is a box with a brick in it - who are they going to complain to ?"

        The domestic Russian shipping companies are often run by family organizations so the bricks in those boxes will often be domestically produced and the computers that were there available through cousin Vladimir's back alley computer store.

    2. johnfbw

      Re: Intermediaries

      Most export controls already control final destination expert via intermediaries. Very difficult to control for consumer goods like these where Russia can just go to Currys in India.

      Would the US bother to sanction a Chinese company? Depends on that days political climate (and who is lobbying with the most $$$)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Intermediaries

        For tech. sourced in the US, intermediaries are also banned from selling to Russia, because as soon as they do, it becomes illegal for US companies to sell to them. And this extends to financial services, so any company that flouts the ban by acting as an intermediary risks not being able to use US and European banking services.

        Not so sure about tech originated in Taiwan.

        And while the US has an effective stranglehold on on international financial transactions through things like Swift, it is quite possible for them to enforce these things.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Intermediaries

        Would the US bother to sanction a Chinese company?

        Huawei.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Intermediaries

      Probably easier to hoover up all the secondhand computers the west dumps on the developing world.

      Given the games played with arms exports, it would not surprise me if a shipment of decent kit simply gets relabelled as e-waste that can be shipped to Russia for 'recycling'...

      1. Plest Silver badge

        Re: Intermediaries

        That's my thought, the Ruskies will be scouring eBay-o-vitch for all the old Intel kit they can buy up that isn't being blocked due to sanctions.

      2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

        buying second-hand, "obsolete" computers

        ... and turning them into Beowolf clusters.

    4. G.Y.

      FarewellRe: Intermediaries

      Check “ the farewell file” for what can happen

  8. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Digital Cameras?

    May be production will be restarted of the Zenit 35mm camera range.

    icon -> "Amateur Photographer" cover model

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Digital Cameras?

      Apparently made in Belarus so they probably don't have the technology anymore

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Digital Cameras?

        Zenit under its latest owner Shvabe make high end rangefinders in collaboration with Leica. They are based in Krasnogorsk. Shvabe are under Rostec which is Russian state owned.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Digital Cameras?

          Back in the good old days of the cold war we used to use USSR knock-off Hasselblad lenses on certain of Her Majesty's bombing ranges where we expected the optic to have a hard time and didn't want to catastrophically-dissasemble anything genuinely expensive.

          IIRC when they worked they were optically quite good, just that the consistency of quality fell short of what Marxism-Leninism was aiming for.

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: Digital Cameras?

            IIRC when they worked they were optically quite good, just that the consistency of quality fell short of what Marxism-Leninism was aiming for.

            "The quality of all lenses is equal, but some are more equal than others"?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Digital Cameras?

            Marxism-Leninism was aiming for 400% output, never mind % of 'consistency of quality'. Thanks God they never went for middle of the road solution! ;)

          3. Androgynous Cow Herd

            Re: Digital Cameras?

            USSR sourced, sure...those would be from the Kiev factory.

            There is probably currently a supply chain problem there...

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Digital Cameras?

          Zenit-Leica digital camera made in Russia! Somebody must have rebooted the Matrix.

          Although I'm guessing a few Leica sales guys are drowning their sorrows right now.

          And ORWO, the former E German maker of weird cheap slide film, is launching a new range of B&W 35mm film. At this rate my flares will be back in fashion !

          1. RubberJohnny

            Re: Digital Cameras?

            The Lomo cameras, by the maker of Lubitel, has had a small but dedicated following practising Lomography despite the digital dominance.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Digital Cameras?

              "Pictorialism strikes back" - or "finding new ways to sell our crappy cameras and lenses".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Digital Cameras?

      This time they don't have German camera factories to loot....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn!

    I knew I shouldn't have got rid of that 25MHz Amiga 4000 - they'd pay good money for that 68030.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Damn!

      32bit

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How many 25MHz processors required….

    ….to run a mega-yacht?

    Asking for a friend.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: How many 25MHz processors required….

      The Americans went to the Moon and back on less.

      But they didn't have entertainment systems, water-features, exercise machines and assorted electronic gizmos - just critical systems life-support and navigation, and most importantly, some clever hardware and software engineers who built those systems.

  11. Potemkine! Silver badge

    During WW1, UK and France put a blockade on Germany imports. A direct consequence was that importation from Netherlands and Sweden exploded, because these neutral countries sold the imports back to Germany. It stopped when the US entered war and restricted its exportation to these two countries.

    What would stop a country to buy chips from Taiwan and then sell it back to Russia?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "What would stop a country to buy chips from Taiwan and then sell it back to Russia?"

      That they will be sanctioned as well. China itself is trying to keep on business as usual while trying not to incur in the effects of secondary sanctions.

      Smuggling some Prada bags in is easy, millions of chips is not. Oligarchs will keep on getting their iPhone, iPad and Macs - but their companies won't be able to source thousands of PCs and other devices.

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: "What would stop a country to buy chips from Taiwan and then sell it back to Russia?"

        That they will be sanctioned as well

        Sanctioning a country because some private companies do smuggling? It doesn't seem very legal.

        Smuggling some Prada bags in is easy, millions of chips is not

        I doubt that. Millions of chips would fill only a handful of containers. North Korea is subject to sanctions for decades, but everybody knows smuggling of goods to NK is common.

        I bet this embargo will mostly affect Russian citizens, but neither the military nor the apparatchiks. I'm not against the embargo, far from it. But I doubt it will reach the intended target.

        1. TimMaher Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: "Smuggling some Prada bags in is easy, millions of chips is not”

          Obviously, you stuff the chips into the Prada bags and Vladimir’s your uncle.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: "What would stop a country to buy chips from Taiwan and then sell it back to Russia?"

        "Oligarchs will keep on getting their iPhone, iPad and Macs - but their companies won't be able to source thousands of PCs and other devices."

        Sure they will, it will just cost more money.

        They can buy used machines being scrapped for pennies. Dave at the EEVblog finds all sorts of perfectly good PC's at his office's trash room. Last year's model, but fine for most business tasks. My long suffering PC on the other desk still does all of my CAD/CAM work just fine and operates on W7. I don't let it go on line so it stays healthy and doesn't need the latest vaccine booster.

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      A country is not neutral if it deals with aggressor.

      1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

        Sweden and Switzerland both dealt with (traded with) Germany during WWII, and were and are accepted as being neutral during the war. They also dealt with /traded with the Allies.

        Which side of a conflict is the aggressor can be (emphasise on 'can') subjective (what one side thinks is reasonable, the other side considers an act of aggression justifying an aggressive response). Third parties may agree with either point of view (or have entirely their own view), so different third parties may have differing views as to which of the countries at war is the aggressor.

        Moreover, it is generally useful for both sides in a war to have one or more intermediaries that both sides trust as 'neutral', to aid in ceasefire negotiations/peace making, prisoner swaps, etc, etc.

        So in fact, it is normal for a neutral to deal with an aggressor.

        However, it is generally accepted that neutrals should not supply arms to either party in a war if they wish to preserve neutrality. Hence, for example, the current issue that Switzerland will not allow Swiss-made 35mm cannon ammo (for the Gepard Flakpanzers that Germany has said it will transfer to Ukraine, assuming it ever actually does) to be sent to Ukraine.

        However, the line is not always that clear as to what is 'war material': Sweden provided high quality ball bearings to Germany in WW2 - but also to the UK (high-speed Mosquito runs passed the German air defences).

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          >Sweden and Switzerland both dealt with (traded with) Germany during WWII

          As did the USA until they were finally made to see reality and so threw their hand in with the UK - albeit on commercial terms.

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Oerlikon cannon...

              which happens to be installed on Danish APCs. Which can be handed over to Ukraine, sans Oerlikon guns, Switzerland said. Shame they didn't give them the apcs, gun-less, anyway, Ukrainians are pretty good at 'modding'...

          2. Kabukiwookie

            made to see reality

            You mean after Germany declared war on the US, because of the attack of the japanese on Pearl harbour.

    3. katrinab Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      One brand new M2 MacBook Air for Putin's personal use, probably not much.

      10,000 small form factor PCs for Gazprom staff, that would be a lot more difficult.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > "...stopped when the US entered war"

      Actually it stopped when the RN blockaded the Netherlands. Which is the sort of place that phoney neutrality gets you into.

      It probably seems odd now to think that at the outbreak of WWI the UK was the world's premier super power.

      1. Kabukiwookie

        Blockading a neutral country, just because they don't choose your side is an act of aggression.

        Very certain that they would not have done that to a country if it would have the capability to actually do something about those ships blockading the ports.

        If you think this is a 'normal' thing to do you're the same type of person as GW Bush with his 'if you're not with us, you're against us'.

  12. UdoGoetz

    Sans The Snark

    The Moscovites have the ELBRUS CPU, which is a 64 bit, 1.5MHz VLIW processor. It is completely homegrown, including the C++ compiler. Its the brain of the high SAMs they have. Other applications I can only guess, such as aerospace, marine and the T14 tank, which needs powerful sensor processors.

    I benchmarked it and found it as fast as a RPI4, without using the parallel processing.

    They have a fab in Zelenograd which apparently can do 65nm chips.

    Can it be used for banking ? Surely, if they get rid of the Java Bloat and apply their brains to the problem instead of the Intel-SUN Fat.

    How will this work out economically and militarily ?

    Surely it will degrade their high end processing and AI* capabilities as compared to those who have access to TSMC and Samsung.

    Now is the time for Russian intelligence to show what they can. So far we have seen mostly corruption, incompetence and hybris. Compensated by wasting soldiers and officers. They would be very wise to end this war and recognize their grave mistake.

    * a very real thing, as the HAROP drone proved in Armenia recently.

    1. Crypto Monad Silver badge

      Re: Sans The Snark

      The Moscovites have the ELBRUS CPU, which is a 64 bit, 1.5MHz VLIW processor. ...

      I benchmarked it and found it as fast as a RPI4, without using the parallel processing.

      Then I guess it was 1.5GHz, not 1.5MHz ?

      1. UdoGoetz

        Typo

        Yes, indeed, the ELBRUS clocks at about 1.5Gigaherz.

        http://www.mcst.ru/

        A bit of autotranslation will give you much more info.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sans The Snark

      Anyone intelligent in Russia is leaving.

      1. UdoGoetz

        Re: Sans The Snark

        I do think you do not know the Russian soul and their patriotism. The average russian is not a globalist and they will stay loyal to Russia even if the current ruler is a bit nutterish.

        The backbone of Russia are KGB and army officers who know how to motivate, improvise and organise. They also know how to bring the brightest people at one place to develop something great. They are also realists who would call off a costly war, because they are also students of history, economics, hard science and social sciences.

        The current problem is the corruption and mediocrity at the top. The BMW-iphone-superyacht set.

      2. lotus123

        Re: Sans The Snark

        >"Anyone intelligent in Russia is leaving."

        On a temp tourist visas, without rights to work and with the problems accessing their own money as their cards are cancelled.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Sans The Snark

          and are we the civilised western nations not recognising these heroes who are weakening Russia's war effort by giving them work visas?

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Sans The Snark

            The US is (or claims to) there is a visa scheme for USSR 'defectors' that was never cancelled.

            The UK will announce they are talking more than any other country while only actually allowing in a couple of billionaires

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sans The Snark

          > "On a temp tourist visas..."

          The brightest and best have no worries about such things.

          I've actually met some of the Russians that have left so the other guy's patriotic bollocks fantasy is nonsense too.

          1. lotus123

            Re: Sans The Snark

            >"The brightest and best have no worries about such things."

            Yeah, whole 2 of them. The rest live in a real world and the real world happen to have various rules that the bureaucracy does not want to be broken.

  13. UdoGoetz

    Addendum

    It must be said that wasting soldiers and officers is not new to the Russians. They did this 41-45 in enormous numbers. Stalin also murdered virtually his entire general officer corps, which certainly aided Germany to a great degree. But they had America on their side, plus the spirit of defending the rodina. Now they have none of this, just a notorious professional liar without principles at the helm.

    Professional lying, deceiving and br4infucking seems to be their core competence (their leader comes from this sector of intel work), while everything else is on soviet or even much worse levels. For example, communications security is at 1910, battle of Tannenberg level. Plain text between general officers. No money for even primitive ciphers, because they need to show off the 150m yachts.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Addendum

      The thing is, the population of Russia these days isn't that big. 144m is bigger than the UK for sure, but only a little over double the size. Bangladesh at 165m is bigger than Russia, and people don't think of it as a big country.

      1. UdoGoetz

        Quality vs Quantity

        Russia is more powerful than Bangla Desh because they have some outstanding well educated and experienced officers(of all branches of service), engineers, scientists, artists, musicians.

        For example, General Kusnetzov, who designed and built a large rocket engine in the 60s, which is top notch even by todays standards. Americans chose to buy and use this engine. Or Mr Kotelnikov, who apparently did the same theoretical work as Mr Shannon in signal sampling theory.

        Nevertheless, they have too few babies and a problem with corruption and (I assume) their national soul. But this can be said about almost all european nations.

        We should really heal the soul instead of burning the youth in wars...

        1. UdoGoetz

          Re: Quality vs Quantity

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Dmitriyevich_Kuznetsov

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuznetsov_NK-93#Performance

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NK-33

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RD-180

          (According to wiki the RD180 was not directly designed by Kusnetzov, but strongly influenced)

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Kotelnikov

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist%E2%80%93Shannon_sampling_theorem

          Now imagine how we could work with them to make Airbus even better, if only we could find a way to go along without shooting and the little KGB antics...

        2. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Quality vs Quantity

          Yes, but if you look at the Soviet Union, around half the population is now in countries that are Not Russia, such as Ukraine. Also, there were Soviet-aligned countries such as Poland and Czechoslovakia[1] which collectively had about half the population of the Soviet Union.

          The population has also fallen due to low birth rate and migration.

          In those days, the population of the Soviet Union + Soviet aligned countries made it the 3rd largest "country" in the world after China and India. Now it is the 9th largest, between Bangladesh and Mexico.

          [1] It is not called Czechoslovakia any more, but it was at the time.

          1. UdoGoetz

            Re: Quality vs Quantity

            All of Europe is quickly approaching the end of our nations, culture and statehood, as we have, on average, too few babies.

            America and the woke/drug/moneyfication lunacy is in the same lot, as they are essentially a european nation, too.

            1. Dog11

              Re: Quality vs Quantity

              Europe/America/Japan (Japan is in the same boat) have relatively high standards of living and accessible birth control. The time required for education and career cut into childbearing years, not so much16-and-pregnant any more. It may be that many women are finding other things they'd rather be doing than breed.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: Quality vs Quantity

                But you are then supposed to get the 'Scandinavian rebound'.

                First generation of women that can get contraception/jobs/university have fewer kids, birth rate drops. Then a generation (or two) later women are a valued part of the workforce/politics and the employers and state offer excellent child care options - they all start having children again and the reproduction rate goes back up.

                It's just that bits of the Eu/UK/America/Japan seem to have not reached stage 2 for some reason

      2. Kabukiwookie

        Re: Addendum

        and people don't think of it as a big country.

        Dude. Please check a map. Bangladesh is nit that big of a country.

        It's much smaller, has the a similar population, which equates to less natural resources and income per capita.

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Addendum

        Bangladesh at 165m is bigger than Russia, and people don't think of it as a big country.

        It depends wholly on what metric you are defining "big". Russia is VERY big in terms of land mass (and variety of land types). Bangladesh is a relatively small country, and large parts of it are made up of muddy river delta.

        Russia may not have the population, but it has a lot of natural resources, especially mineral wealth, and it has a lot of power projection, by the dint of having most of the world's nukes. Last time I checked, Bangladesh wasn't a nuclear power, despite being surrounded by other nuke-wielding maniacs.

  14. Trigun

    This may be unwise in the long run. China has been trying to develope their own x86 and x64 processors and to find a market for them. That's now Russia.

    Admittedly, the Chinese ones aren't at the 5-7nm level yet and their CPUs are no where near as efficient as Intel & AMDs, but they'll get there eventually.. This is aimed at cutting out the west and the U.S. specifically from their markets so that they become self sufficient and then to out compete. The embargos, whether you agree with them or not, is re-enforcing this message to not only the Chinese but also elsewhere.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Right now, China is at 14nm. Not as good as Intel's 14nm, but way better than a 286 or 386.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      It's the economic equivalent of dropping a couple of nukes. Now everybody knows they've got to have "nukes". And the game is stopping proliferation.

      But until people are self-sufficient, it's a deterrent. If China had plans for Taiwan they are paused. So that's delayed a conflict. And who knows what the situation will be if they can get there - or whether they can get there. Because they've got a demographic timebomb of their own. They have an economy full of bubbles. They've not figured out a way out of covid. And they're sliding into a dictatorship - which never ends well.

      And the alternative was what - sitting on our hands and letting Russia slowly take over the old Soviet block? All in all, the pros outweigh any cons.

      1. Trigun

        And that's a fair assessment. As long as people are aware of the long term possible issues.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      So, "better than 30 years behind the curve" then. Ok, so it won't take them 30 years to catch up, let's say ten instead, but by that time, Intel et al will be another ten years ahead. Xeno's paradox, and so on...

  15. Fizban64

    Crazy World

    With the need of Russian Federations raw materials to actually make the chips, they might not be actually creating the chips in the first place if the Russians start to ban certain chipmaking requirements. Talk about ill thought out, it'll bite them on their proverbial asses. Sad world.

    1. Plest Silver badge

      Re: Crazy World

      The phrase, "You made your bed, now lie in it." springs to mind about Putin.

    2. MacroRodent
      Holmes

      Re: Crazy World

      With the need of Russian Federations raw materials to actually make the chips,

      There is really no resource in Russia that cannot also be found elsewhere. And chips do not require large amounts of raw materials anyway, they are a rather extreme example of a product where all the value is created in the design and manufacturing.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why allow the slow stuff?

    Am I missing something: why would a government bother to go to the trouble of saying "chips slower than X are not sanctioned" instead of simply sanctioning all chips?

    If you don't also sanction the really slow ones, you open up a potential loophole of fast chips being falsely labelled as slow to get them past customs. What makes it worth taking that risk?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Why allow the slow stuff?

      Partly not to have to do paperwork on every last 555

      But mostly I suspect to troll them !

  17. 9Rune5

    Progress

    I wonder what effect this war will have on post-war society in Ukraine.

    It is no big secret that homophobia runs rampant in former east-block countries.

    My wife has been helping out as a translator and just casually mentioned that our local pastor is married to a man. The woman's reaction was priceless "he is ...? Oh well, welcome to '2022'!".

    If we can help evict Putin and restore peace, then it is my belief that Ukraine is lined up for a great many positive changes.

    1. gavat

      Re: Progress

      Not only him but all sorts of Soviet mentality should be dropped off in the entire block. Because there would be second and third of the like otherwise.

  18. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
    Trollface

    That's fine

    They can have all the 555 timer chips they can eat.

  19. fred_flinstone

    Everyone appears to be focussing on computers. But what about all the other modern tech from washing machines to TV's that have cpu's, wifi/ethernet etc. in? Does this mean Russia has to revert to analogue TV with CRT's?

  20. skewty

    This is just going to help the Chinese build better product which they can in-turn sell to the Russians.

    In a time of war, China will side with Russia and the West, which is extremely reliant on China for manufacturing, will be in a worse place than the EU is now without Russian oil.

    The Chinese stuff may not be the best, but it will be good enough and with the increased market share will hopefully, in time, create new markets and opportunities for software developers. We as the end users only stand to benefit from competition. Intel and NVidia weren't doing us any favors when they were clearly in the lead with no close 2nd place. I don't know why we praise them for their price gouging.

    Competition is good for us end users.

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