Exacerbated by the pandemic, the chip shortage neared crisis proportions at the start of the year. Network vendors calculated the impact on their businesses in recent earnings reports: Cisco’s current product backlog is at nearly $14 billion, Juniper reported a backlog of $1.8 billion, and Arista said that lead times on sales are 50 to 70 weeks.
Then Russia invaded Ukraine, putting even more stress on the global supply chain. Ukraine manufactures 70% of the world’s neon gas, which is needed for the industrial lasers used in semiconductor manufacturing, according to research firm TrendForce.
Semiconductor manufacturers also need C4F6, a gas used for etching, and palladium, used in sensors and memory. Russia is a crucial source of both, according to a report by research firm Techcet.