There are not enough chips. The continuing global semiconductor shortage means that the difficulty of buying PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X or high-end GPUs from Nvidia or AMD may last for several months, not even until the rest of 2021.
This is not just gaming equipment: Ford and General Motors and other automobile companies have problems with truck production, Apple supplier Foxconn has warned that parts delays may continue until 2022, 5G rollout is being delayed, and Samsung warned of a “serious imbalance.” In the semiconductor industry.
There are many reasons for this shortage: delays caused by the closure of COVID-1
But the problem doesn’t even stop there: it’s not that there are not enough chips, but not enough chip manufacturers. “In 2000, we used to have 30 companies manufacturing their own integrated circuits. Then they found outsourcing was cheaper.” Professor Christopher Tang of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) explained in an interview. edge.
As the demand for products and the increasingly computerized nature of ordinary products such as cars or smart home accessories continue to soar, the demand for chips has never been so urgent. But at the same time, in the past few decades, the industry has become smaller and smaller, because many technology companies, even chip manufacturers such as AMD, have switched to a fabless model, outsourcing the actual manufacturing operations to other companies (E.g. Samsung or TSMC).
solve This one However, the chip shortage may only be a matter of time: in the end, demand will no longer exceed the limited supply, and the situation should return to normal (you can buy a PlayStation without having to go through the hassle and endless hassle online. Digital queues).
However, to prevent shortages in the future, it may be necessary to make greater changes to the entire industry’s large semiconductor industry to reflect our increasingly digital world. We have already seen some of them: TSMC has announced plans to invest $100 billion in the next three years to improve its ability to meet growing demand. Intel plans to spend $20 billion to expand its fab in Arizona and open the door for other companies to produce chips (similar to the way TSMC and Samsung operate) and add new major suppliers to the market.
However, these changes will require time and industry commitment to actually build a healthier supply chain in the coming years and decades. In the next few months, there is little possibility to make buying hard-to-find gadgets easier. But these changes may eventually make it easier to buy a virtual PlayStation 6 or Xbox successor.