This computer circuit board system, featuring a chip with a core processor, will be harder to create because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine is one of the top suppliers of neon, which is used to produce computer chips. Its supply has been cut off.

Neon Gas Supply Interrupted By Russians Means Computer Chip Production Problems had a story recently about how the Russian invasion of Ukraine (let’s call it what it is) will have a direct effect on the world’s computer chip inventory and production. In addition, the resulting gas shortage is contributing to a chip shortage.

The neon gas that the world needs to etch chips, comes mostly from Ukraine.

A story from broke down the neon gas problem in an article this week. The article shows the hows and whys of the effect on a huge number of products.

Shortages caused by the Russian invasion have already left a mark on other sectors of the economy. Oil prices spiked to a 14-year record high of $139 per barrel this week. Gas prices in the U.S. reached an all-time high of $4.331 per gallon on Friday, according to AAA, following news that the U.S. would ban Russian oil imports. That’s where the problem began.

The Russians have invaded the most important section in Ukraine where the neon gas used ion etching chips is produced. Those disruptions pose a dire threat to an industry that just began its path to recovery from two years of pandemic-related supply chain shortages. Shocks from those shortages have led to production delays of everything from Ford F-150s to Apple electronics and just about everything in between.

So the invasion has chip makers worldwide scrambling to replace the neon gas supply. While the bigger chipmakers have the capacity to store some neon gas and continue producing for the short term, the smaller makers are going to have more trouble keeping the assembly lines moving.

Neon is critically important to semiconductor chip manufacturing, and nearly half of the world’s semiconductor-grade neon originates from these two suppliers, Ingas and Cryoin, Reuters notes.

Reuters estimates the two firms produce between 45% and 54% of the specific type of neon needed to manufacture semiconductor chips. Under normal circumstances, Ingas pumps out 15,000 to 20,000 cubic meters of neon per month, with about 75% of that going directly into the chip industry.