The grip of sanctions is tightening around Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, when even tech giant Huawei has also reportedly halted all shipments of high-performance storage and server equipment to the country. Huawei therefore joins tech giants AMD, Intel, Nvidia and TSMC in cutting off Russia’s access to cutting-edge technology that could help it in its war efforts – one of its few technological alternatives to now-dried wells. of western technology.
The decision likely did not stem from a political disagreement with Russia’s actions. Huawei has become severely crippled when it comes to accessing US technology following sanctions already imposed on the company under the China-US Trade War. Instead, Huawei is likely simply protecting itself from collateral damage to its own business if the United States runs into trouble with tech shipments featuring American technology and intellectual property.
Existing sanctions against Huawei are so severe that the company has been forced to explore alternative revenue markets like pig farming. Perhaps more importantly, Huawei has also pioneered the development of its own TSV-free hybrid 3D stacking technology to improve silicon performance on non-advanced nodes.
While US sanctions against Russia are primarily aimed at curtailing military applications, advances in consumer technology mean consumer AMD Ryzen or Intel Core products could also be deployed in these scenarios. As a result, the companies are taking a “prevention is better than cure” approach, which seems like a smart move given Huawei’s already significant issues.
So Huawei is apparently putting its technology partnership with Russia on hold until the geopolitical climate stabilizes. The company has already improved Russia’s infrastructure by installing an Arm-based data center server in the heart of Moscow, including the storage system the Russian government has been seeking to upgrade — with uncertain success — since last year.
It has now become increasingly difficult for Russia to scale – and even maintain – its already deployed high-performance computing systems. If these begin to fail, the country will be faced with a degrading technological infrastructure that is likely to degrade through its military capabilities. A shift to illegal and clandestine acquisitions may be the only way to keep the country’s tech barge afloat.