Why the Global Shortage in Computer Chips Matters to You -

TopCat

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Moore’s Law only holds when chip supply isn’t an issue. Just now, the microchips that make every electronic device work are in short supply. The COVID-19 pandemic and unexpectedly cold weather in Texas temporarily closed chip factories. As news of the shortage spread, “panic buying” cleaned out inventory. Several other factors drive a continuing shortage as well:

– The switch to 5G phones is increasing chip demand, leading to delays:

Even the mighty Apple, a $2tn company and the world’s biggest buyer of semiconductors spending $58bn annually, was forced to delay the launch of the much-hyped iPhone 12 by two months last year due to the shortage. Mark Sweney, “Global shortage in computer chips ‘reaches crisis point’” at The Guardian (March 21, 2021)

Samsung also warns of prospective chip-related cutbacks and delays for its new smartphone: “it might skip the launch of the next Galaxy Note smartphone, to streamline its lineup.” (BBC, March 17, 2021)

– Remote learning and working from home have also led to a spike in consumer demand for hardware and thus chips.

– Demand for chips from the automotive sector has spiked, due to new onboard technologies. But in the IT industry, automotive is a smaller player. The entire automotive industry spends only $37 billion on chips yearly. So, as one analyst explains, “if Apple is spending $56bn a year and growing who are you going to keep supplies going to first?” Ford, Nissan, and Honda have all seen slowdowns as a result, as have Volkswagen and General Motors, along with Subaru and Toyota. A fire at a Japanese chip maker responsible for 30% of microcontrollers for cars has made things worse. So expect fewer new models, higher prices, and longer delays.

– Sony tells much the same story with respect to game consoles such as Playstation 5: “It is difficult for us to increase production of the PS5 amid the shortage of semiconductors and other components,” said Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki. Nintendo’s Switch and Microsoft’s Xbox are also facing supply shortages due to chip woes.

– One hard hit group is people who build their own computers. From Gizmodo, we learn,

It’s the worst time to try and pick out the parts for your next PC build. Actually, it’s the worst time to try to buy anything that involves a graphics card or processor. Major component manufacturers, including Nvidia, TSMC, and Intel, have confirmed the global chip shortage is unlikely to let up for …awhile. Florence Ion, “You’ll Probably Have to Put Your Next PC Build on Hold as the Chip Shortage Continues” at Gizmodo

The chip industry thinks the problem will take several years to resolve. For one thing, “Factories that produce wafers cost tens of billions of dollars to build, and expanding their capacity can take up to a year for testing and qualifying complex tools.” (Reuters) Intel nonetheless hopes that the problem will be resolved by 2023, in part via new chip factories in Arizona. TSMC, which makes chips for Apple, AMD, and Qualcomm and is also building a factory in Arizona, forecasting a two-year delay. Most current production is in Asia, where Taiwan, threatened by China, is a leading producer.

In the meantime, expect delays, shortfalls, and higher prices for cars, phones, and appliances, excuses — and the need for patience.

 

Pee Cola

Very good cola
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
On the plus side, there should be a pretty big drop in chip prices as new manufacturing capacity comes online at the same time in 2023 or 2024.

Another plus side: the chip shortage is causing some auto makers to go back to fitting analog gauge clusters in their vehicles. I've already sperged about how much I hate digital gauge clusters on modern cars in the "trends you hate" thread.
 

SSF2T Old User

Summer Time = Summer Babes
kiwifarms.net
It matters to me because my laptop is literally held together with duct tape, and the one I really want to replace it with has been massively delayed due to this retardation.
Exactly what laptop could possibly be worth waiting for?
 

Autopsy

kiwifarms.net
Not surprising when most of the decent US factories have been offshored to Asia over the years or given limited production runs even as net demand has increased. Has anyone said anywhere how Europe is handling this, or is it just assumed they're fucked too?
 

MrTroll

I know you can read MY thoughts, boy
kiwifarms.net
Not surprising when most of the decent US factories have been offshored to Asia over the years or given limited production runs even as net demand has increased. Has anyone said anywhere how Europe is handling this, or is it just assumed they're fucked too?

It has nothing to do with offshoring and Europe buys its chips from the same 3-4 companies in China and Korea that the rest of the world does. Just one company in Taiwan alone (TSMC) accounts for something like 55% of the global semiconductor market.
 

Lord of the Large Pants

Chicks dig giant robots.
kiwifarms.net
I quit supporting WD after the SMR crap they pulled. I've some 14TB Seagate Ironwolf Pros (backup plus hub externals), and they're great.
... huh. I actually didn't know about this. I think the drives I got are SMR... WD offered to replace them with other drives, but I'm not sure if those were CMR. I didn't want to do it at the time because it would be mismatched in a RAID with the one good drive, but... y'know, maybe I'll buy the fourth one out of pocket and just sell the SMR.

Thanks, homie.
 

Thumb Butler

"G" is for "gigantic faggot"
kiwifarms.net
... huh. I actually didn't know about this. I think the drives I got are SMR... WD offered to replace them with other drives, but I'm not sure if those were CMR. I didn't want to do it at the time because it would be mismatched in a RAID with the one good drive, but... y'know, maybe I'll buy the fourth one out of pocket and just sell the SMR.

Thanks, homie.
The <8TB WD reds are now SMR, so possibly. And yes, RAID and SMR means trouble.
 

Lord of the Large Pants

Chicks dig giant robots.
kiwifarms.net
The <8TB WD reds are now SMR, so possibly. And yes, RAID and SMR means trouble.
I'll stop shitting up the thread, but man, I didn't know any of this. I foolishly assumed that because WD was advertising them as NAS drives, they would work in a NAS. What a fool I've been. That's probably why 3/4 of them chucked SMART errors while resilvering. Now I'm more surprised that even one of them passed.

Trying to get them to replace the bad ones with CMR drives. Not sure about the last one that technically didn't show any errors. I'm gonna see if I can force it to fail and get them to replace it with a CMR as well. Otherwise I guess I'll have to buy a CMR out of pocket and sell the SMR at a loss.
 

Thumb Butler

"G" is for "gigantic faggot"
kiwifarms.net
I'll stop shitting up the thread, but man, I didn't know any of this. I foolishly assumed that because WD was advertising them as NAS drives, they would work in a NAS. What a fool I've been. That's probably why 3/4 of them chucked SMART errors while resilvering. Now I'm more surprised that even one of them passed.

Trying to get them to replace the bad ones with CMR drives. Not sure about the last one that technically didn't show any errors. I'm gonna see if I can force it to fail and get them to replace it with a CMR as well. Otherwise I guess I'll have to buy a CMR out of pocket and sell the SMR at a loss.
It's not shitting up the thread. The more people who know about this stuff the better.

(old news, but just google around for more info).

Also I have a a 1070 card and there is no way I can replace it any time soon now, even if I wanted. This sucks.
 
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