Market experts do not see any positive prerequisites or factors that would help solve the problem of the global shortage of chips in the technology industry in the next year or two. The rise of cloud computing and cryptocurrencies is exacerbating the problem.
Many experts who monitor the semiconductor industry believe that the problem of their global shortage may persist until 2023.
The global chip shortage stems from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created an imbalance between supply and demand in the tech industry. Today, this problem can affect many consumers, as it limits and restrains the pace of production, and may well provoke a rise in prices.
The semiconductor shortage was most pronounced in the automotive industry – a number of automakers from different countries reported temporary plant suspensions or a slowdown in production growth.
However, the problem concerns not only the automotive market – it is so widespread that it was called “chipagedon”, since microcircuits are needed for any device connected to the Internet or just an electrical network.
Experts point out that more chips are used in various products today than at any time in the past. The technology race among companies is forcing them to modernize their manufacturing processes, which requires new chips, as well as building new factories or workshops.
Glenn O’Donnell, vice president of research at the consulting firm Forrester, said: “As demand remains strong and supply remains tight, we expect this deficit to last until 2022 – 2023.”
According to O’Donnell’s forecasts, in the coming year, the shortage of microcircuits will not greatly affect the PC market, as demand for computers “will decrease slightly”, but will create big problems for data centers.
The cloud computing industry has been impacted by the fall in global economies in 2020, but with growth recovering today, cloud companies will demand new chips to expand their data center capacity.
The shortage of semiconductors has been exacerbated by the boom in cryptocurrencies and their mining, which requires a lot of computing power from computers.
Patrick Armstrong, IT director of Plurimi Investment Managers, believes the chip shortage will last about 18 months.
Most of the experts’ comments boil down to the fact that it will take at least a year to increase production in the semiconductor industry, so that companies can build new workshops or factories in the face of a chip shortage.
Thus, Intel (INTC) announced in March that it plans to spend $ 20 billion on two new chip factories in Arizona, and may also build a plant in Europe. However, Intel has not yet announced an approximate timeframe for the start of operation of these plants, as they will depend on government support, subsidies and partner supplies.
Gartner analyst Alan Priestley told CNBC that things could improve in some sectors over the next six months, but a more drastic solution to future demand “will take two or three years before we see it.”
The CEO of German chip maker Infineon is relying on additional semiconductor manufacturing capacity, anticipating a “more balanced situation” in 2022.
Wenzhe Zhao, director of global economics and strategy at Credit Suisse, also believes that new manufacturing facilities in the semiconductor industry will not appear until 2022 or later, adding that there is little that can be done to address today’s shortage other than adjusting order volumes, production schedules. and prices.