On Friday, Nvidia became the latest Silicon Valley tech giant to declare that it had suspended its Russian-facing business activities. The news will be a significant blow to PC gamers and enthusiasts in Russia, as now the holy trinity of PC performance components designers (AMD, Intel, and Nvidia) have withdrawn their business from the country in solidarity with Ukraine.
“We are not selling into Russia,” an Nvidia spokesperson told PCMag (opens in new tab). Unfortunately, this brief quote seems almost to the full extent of the statement received by the magazine, as it goes on to explain that Nvidia didn’t elaborate on the reasons for its decision.
The only other info nugget revealed by the source regarding Nvidia’s Russia action is that it covers all Nvidia products. That means it won’t just withdraw product sales of the PC enthusiast and GPU mining favorite GeForce GTX-16, RTX-20, and RTX-30 series GPUs. Instead, the sales blockade will include Nvidia’s whole portfolio spanning data center, AI, automotive, and so on.
In the intro, we mentioned that the big three names of the PC industry have now made their positions clear regarding the war in Ukraine. As the statements from AMD and Intel, it isn’t entirely clear what Nvidia’s decision will mean to partner companies. We are thinking about systems makers who sell complete laptops and desktop systems in Russia, as well as, in this case, sales by Nvidia’s flock of add-in-board partners.
Remember, many Nvidia graphics card partners are in China, which hasn’t condemned Russia’s violent invasion of its neighbor. However, a few days ago, China slightly moved its stance, saying that it is highly concerned by the harm to civilians in Ukraine.
The official scope of U.S. sanctions on Russia doesn’t restrict the shipping of consumer electronics that wouldn’t be for military purposes. However, AMD, Intel, and Nvidia have gone the whole hog with their Russia sales block policies. In some cases, like with Intel, the spokesperson added a condemnatory statement about Russia starting the war with Ukraine.
Other important names in the PC universe that have recently decided to quit, halt or withdraw from any Russian business activities include Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung. These highly public-facing tech-heavyweight sanctions will be easily visible to people in Russia, who are now basically cut off from non-state media.
Perhaps a more critical suspension of IT business with Russia has come from Taiwan’s TSMC. The world’s largest contract chipmaker previously had the task of making chips designed by the likes of Baikal et al., but its services are no longer available.