What you need to know
- A global semiconductor shortage is crippling technology supply chains.
- It affects everything from GPU to car production.
- As the shortage's effects snowball, supply recovery times lengthen.
Semiconductors have quickly become one of the world's most rare and precious assets. As a result, the companies that rely on them, including PC hardware giants NVIDIA and Intel, are in hot water when it comes to keeping up with consumer demand.
To give a refresher on what semiconductors are, they're a tiny ingredient that plays a big part in the construction of a massive number of technologies. They're needed for the production of GPUs, CPUs, RAM, and other hardware, as well as everything that uses some variation of those components, such as modern cash registers and cars. In short, this technology shortage has ramifications for industries well outside the normal purview of "consumer tech," and the trickle-down effect of low supplies will extend far beyond PC parts manufacturing.
However, PC parts manufacturing is a big deal, and semiconductor shortages are hitting companies that operate within that sector hard. In an April 13 interview with the Washington Post, Intel's CEO Pat Gelsinger had this to say:
Note the use of "years" plural. Not 2022, also known as one year from now. But years, meaning a minimum of two. Perhaps three or four. Intel's not all talk, though. The company has announced a $20 billion plan to work toward fixing the semiconductor shortage situation.
Semiconductor shortage: Years 'til recovery
TSMC, a company dedicated to manufacturing semiconductors, is also expecting strained supply. "This year and next year, I still expect the capacity tightness will continue and probably also next year. 2023, I hope that we can offer more capacity to support to our customers," TSMC CEO C.C. Wei said in an April 15 earnings call. The full transcript can be seen on Nasdaq's site.
CEO and President of Micron Technology Sanjay Mehrotra stated in an interview with Bloomberg on April 7 that "DRAM is in tight supply at this point, and we expect supply shortages to continue to be tighter through the rest of the year as well." He then hinted that issues would persist through 2022 as well, thanks to a sustained level of high demand.
NVIDIA, much like the other three companies, is realistic about the situation. During the company's Investor Day (opens in new tab) (via Kotaku AU) on April 12, Colette Kress, the company's chief financial officer, said the following:
What does all of this mean? Simply put, don't plan on easily obtaining a new GPU, CPU, smart car, or smart toaster anytime soon. Hope that something comes of U.S. President Joe Biden's efforts to fight the semiconductor shortage and check back in 2023.
Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is something like 3 articles you've written this week about this and Biden potentially helping to fix this. All he's done is say we should do something about it and say we should spend some money on it. I'm the end, maybe they'll throw a few bucks at it when the end of the year comes around, but it'll have a negligible impact. Just cool it on that.
How do you know it'll have a negligible impact?
We'll continue to report on the news as we see fit and you are free to skip past articles you are not interested in. Thank you.
Can I borrow your crystal ball?
When did demand outpace supply?
Financials and industry outlets would know best and I have not been keeping up but I think it's a mix of the pandemic disrupting production in some places (that's somewhat temporary) and demand for crypto currency hashing equipment (could be temporary too). But if the US government thinks they need to subsidize production then the problem might be deeper than that - at least as they see it. American governments only usually step into a market as suddenly as this if there's some real crisis. I don't see an obvious purely political motive (that doesn't rule one out though).
Biggest problem - SCALPERS, and the people who support them by buying at over-inflated prices
I agree with you. I visited a local shop for checking prices and found that they have enough stock of 3060, 3070 and selling it from 1.75 to 2 times of the original price.
They're selling 3060 at 63K INR (which costs around 30K INR).
Oooh. Toxic people in the comments.
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