Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger believes that the ongoing global semiconductor chip shortage could potentially last for several years. Speaking at a virtual session of the Computex trade show in Taipei on Monday, Mr. Gelsinger suggested that the growing trend of work and learn from home following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a “cycle of explosive growth in semiconductors”. Chip manufacturers are struggling to cope with the current demand. It may now take the chip industry several years to resolve this problem.
“But while the industry has taken steps to address near-term constraints it could still take a couple of years for the ecosystem to address shortages of foundry capacity, substrates, and components,” Gelsinger said, according to a Reuters report.
Intel CEO reiterates the global chip shortage isn’t ending anytime soon
In an interview with The Washington Post in April, Gelsinger had said that this chip shortage problem might take at least a couple of years to resolve. He has now reiterated that opinion. Perhaps his recent comments suggest it could stretch for much longer than just two years.
Intel is one of the very few companies that can actually manufacture a semiconductor chip. Samsung and TSMC are other big names in this industry. Perhaps the biggest two. The likes of Qualcomm, MediaTek, and AMD, all design their own chips but outsource the actual manufacturing to Samsung or TSMC. Intel didn’t manufacture chips for others until this chip shortage problem arose. It has now opened its plants to outside customers as well.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, demand for electronic products has surged, and so has the demand for semiconductor chips. The demand has grown so high that it’s outpacing the limited supply, thus causing a global semiconductor chip shortage.
This chip shortage has affected the electronics and automotive industry alike. To address shortages at US car plants, Intel recently announced a $20 billion plan to expand its production capacity. The company is setting up two factories in Arizona.
Further, Intel is planning to expand to other locations in the US as well as Europe. This could allow it to better compete with Samsung and TSMC, the two dominating forces in the semiconductor manufacturing business. Of course, the latter two are expanding their respective manufacturing capacities as well. It now remains to be seen whether these combined efforts could resolve the ongoing global semiconductor chip shortage sooner.