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Ukraine would produce half of the neon used to make the chips

Ukraine chips

And in a recent article, Reuters discusses the impact the war could have on the industry, as we already face supply problems for smartphones, automotive, and other industries, following to the health crisis.

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According to Reuters, 45% to 54% of the neon gas whose quality corresponds to that required by the semiconductor industry is produced by two Ukrainian companies: Ingas and Cryoin. However, after having contacted officials, the media indicates that these two companies have ceased their operations, following the invasion of the country by Russia.

And if the conflict continues, we could once again face major chip shortages. “If inventory runs out by April and chipmakers don’t have orders blocked in other parts of the world, that likely means additional constraints on the wider supply chain and the inability to manufacture the final product for many key customers”explains Angelo Zino, an analyst at CFRA, quoted by Reuters.

Furthermore, if infrastructure is damaged, the resumption of activities by these neon producers could take longer, even if the conflict were to end.

Should we be afraid of a new global shortage?

While the data from Reuters is worrying, for the moment, some players want to be rather reassuring.

For example, the Ministry of Economy in Taiwan, where TSMC, a major chipmaker, is located, said companies in the country would already have a safety stock, when it comes to neon gas. Thus, no shortage would be to be feared in the short term.

“We understand that reports of a potential disruption in the supply of minerals and noble gases, due to ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, are of concern to the semiconductor industry”, Micron said in February. Nevertheless, it had assured that it has various sources of supply.

On February 24, the Semiconductor Industry Association, a group that represents American semiconductor companies, as well as international players such as TSMC, Samsung and Mediatek, said: ” […] the semiconductor industry has a diverse set of suppliers of key materials and gases, so we do not believe there are immediate supply disruption risks related to Russia and Ukraine. »

According to Reuters, large groups could indeed have a limited impact, while small companies could have more difficulty finding these raw materials.

Quoted by the media, Lita Shon-Roy, president of Techcet (a consulting company), explains that companies like Intel, Samsung or TSMC, have greater purchasing power and access to stocks that can cover two months. or even more.

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