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More than half of Russia's Baikal chips are defective as a result of Western sanctions

A computer chip

The Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine triggered economic sanctions against Russia from countries around the whole world, not just the West. Many international partners cut ties with Russian companies – either willingly or forcefully – as a result. This had serious consequences on several segments with chip manufacturing being one of them.

Baikal Electronics, a Russian semiconductor company, has lost its key partner in Taiwanese TSMC. The world’s largest contract chipmaker was manufacturing and packaging Russia-designed silicon, however, it stopped exports to Russia just days into the invasion. It even kept 300,000 already manufactured and packaged chips which were ready for delivery, therefore, Baikal had no other way than to find domestic partners.

As for the packaging, it seems the chip developer is struggling to this day, as Russian newspaper Vedomosti reported according to UkraineToday.org.

Anonymous sources told Vedomosti that over half of Baikal’s chips packaged in Russia are defective and unusable as a result. The reason is reportedly a lack of skilled and competent workforce, as well as the incorrect configuration of the equipment used for packaging.

For the purpose of packaging technology testing, Baikal partnered with the Russian company GS Group back in 2021. Now, the chip developer plans to expand its list of packaging partners to two more domestic companies – Milandra and Mikron.

While Baikal’s packaging problems are now public, we still don’t know much about the actual manufacturing. There are no Russian chipmakers that are able to produce Baikal chips based on 28nm technology, as TechSpot pointed out, thus the doors for speculations about who – and in which country – physically manufactures these chips are open.

The outlook for a better future for the Russian semiconductor industry depends on the local government which plans to invest tens of billions of dollars to expand its development, manufacturing, and workforce capability and capacities in the upcoming years.

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