The White House is warning the chip industry to diversify its supply chain in case Russia retaliates against threatened U.S. export curbs by blocking access to key materials, people familiar with the matter said.
The potential for retaliation has garnered more attention in recent days after Techcet, a market research group, published a report on February 1 highlighting the reliance of many semiconductor manufacturers on Russian and Ukrainian-sourced materials like neon, palladium and others. According to Techcet estimates, over 90 percent of U.S. semiconductor-grade neon supplies come from Ukraine, while 35 percent of U.S. palladium is sourced from Russia. Peter Harrell, who sits of the White House’s National Security Council, and his staff have been in touch with members of the chip industry in recent days, learning about their exposure to Russian and Ukrainian chipmaking materials and urging them to find alternative sources, the people said.
A “senior official” told Reuters, “We understand that other sources of key products are available and stand ready to work with our companies to help them identify and diversify their supplies.”