Covid-19 has caused a global shortage of chips, TSMC is now the ‘storm center’

Chip shortages are spreading from car manufacturing to more industries, including technology and home appliances.

The earliest signs of a chip shortage problem appeared in the spring of 2020. At that time, the world was in the phase of the first wave of infections, Covid-19 eliminated consumer demand. use. Then, the economic recovery of countries gradually boosted the development of the Internet and mobile computing technology.

This major shift, carried out over a few months, paved the way for the semiconductor industry, which is at the core of everything from computers and smartphones to automobiles and TVs, into shortages. most serious in many years.

Automakers and electronic products cut production in the early stages of a rush to replenish orders, but they were rejected because chipmakers were trying their best. to provide stockpile for major smartphone brands like Apple. In early February, CEO of the world’s largest mobile chip maker Qualcomm Cristiano Amon reported a shortage of “comprehensive” chips, citing the industry’s heavy reliance on several European companies. ASIAN.

Amon joins the growing roster of industry leaders who have warned they cannot get enough chips to make products. The situation of the car manufacturing industry was the most serious that caused the US and German governments to step in. In particular, General Motors was forced to close three plants in North America in early February, Ford Motor also prepared for the plan to reduce production by 20%.

The unusual developments of the Covid-19 pandemic and the explosion of next-generation 5G smartphones like the iPhone 12 are exacerbating the shortage of chips, leading to a direct impact on revenue across the consumer industry. . Automakers alone are expected to lose $ 61 billion in revenue due to a lack of chips and a much bigger blow to the electronics industry, though it’s difficult to quantify for the time being.

Qualcomm’s main customer, Apple, recently announced that sales of some new high-end iPhones have been limited due to a lack of components. Europe’s semiconductor firm NXP and Infineon Technology – two at the top of the supply chain – both say that it’s not just the automotive industry that’s affected. Sony also said that due to manufacturing bottlenecks, the company may not be able to fully meet market demand for its PS5 consoles by 2021.

Neal Moston, an analyst at Strategic Analysis, said: “Disease, social disparity in factories and soaring demand competition from tablets, laptops and electric cars are causing the most strain in the source. smartphone component supply for many years He estimates that smartphone component prices, including chipsets and displays, have risen by 15% over the past three to six months.

The personal computer maker was one of the first industries to show an impending supply sign in the spring of 2020. Lenovo repeatedly repeated this warning.

The heart of this crisis is TSMCTaiwan’s largest company and the world’s leading chip maker for the automotive and technology giants. They have invested billions of dollars over the past few years to ensure that they will be at the forefront of semiconductor manufacturing technology, which not only goes unrequited, but has pushed themselves at the center of the game. global technology battle.

The current crisis stems from a number of factors combined last year. Like most chip design companies in the world, Qualcomm outsource production to Asian companies, most importantly TSMC and Samsung Electronics. The two companies gradually became the only ones that could produce the most advanced semiconductors.

However, production capacity requires several years of planning and they need billions of dollars in investment from customers to keep them running. The explosion of 5G mobile phones and the Internet after the outbreak took their customers by surprise. Due to concerns about chip inventory, competitors including Apple have responded in a similar manner. The home office era has spurred sales of home appliances, from the most expensive TVs to the lowest-end air purifiers, all using smart custom chips.

TSMC executives said during the last two earnings press conferences, customers are hoarding more inventory than usual to prevent uncertainty, and they will maintain this approach in a time. It is this aggravating the shortage of chips globally and the impact on industries increasingly worse.

Phong Vu

Lack of global chips, major powers like 'sitting on a fire'

Lack of global chips, major powers like ‘sitting on a fire’

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a global shortage of chips, causing many “big players” to struggle.


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