Semiconductor failures from China to Russia have increased by 1,900% in recent months, writes The Register with reference to the Russian Kommersant.
Citing an anonymous source, the newspaper claims that before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the defect rate in imported silicon was 2%. With the beginning of the aggression, Russian manufacturers apparently faced a 40% defect rate.
Even a two percent scrap rate is suboptimal because products made from many components can have significant quality problems. A 40% scrap rate means that the supply is close to being unusable.
According to the media, Russian electronics manufacturers have faced massive problems because equipment on the gray market is not arriving at the same speed as legal equipment, and supply chains in Russia are now very twisted. The only entities willing to deal with Russian business are the distributors of the shadow market and other opportunistic operators.
Representatives of the shadow market are not noted for impeccable customer service or commitment to quality. They get away with it because buyers of products of dubious origin impersonate themselves if they complain to the authorities.
If 40% of semiconductors from China are really defective, then this is an interesting manifestation of the “friendship without borders”, which Moscow and Beijing declared in February 2022. It is also surprising, given China’s oft-stated ambitions to suppress corruption, modernize its economy and focus only on the qualitative development of world-leading products.