Perhaps only complete escapists or hermits have not yet heard about the shortage of electronic components in the world, in particular microcircuits. The central media and even tabloids have already begun to talk about this (mainly in the context of the expected increase in prices for gadgets and SUVs). However, citizens have not yet realized how serious this is and what threatens it. The global auto industry is expected to make 5 million fewer cars than expected this year due to a lack of electronic components, and buying an SUV could cost at least 20% more than last year. The chip shortage is projected to cause Apple to lose $4 billion quarterly due to iPad and Mac production restrictions, and Samsung warns of delays in launching new smartphones.
The uniqueness of the problem is evidenced by the level to which its discussion and solution have been raised. In particular, last year the US Congress adopted the CHIPS for America Act, aimed at saving the country’s semiconductor industry. In February, Joe Biden joined the problem (Fig. 1), who received a letter with a cry for help from the heads of AMD, Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm and, after consulting with congressmen, signed Decree No. 14017 America’s Supply Chains, introducing measures to study and overcome the problem of shortage of semiconductor components, and allocated $ 37 billion for this.
In April, the Pennsylvania gentleman is holding an extended meeting with Alphabet, AT&T, Intel, Google, General Motors, Ford on the consumer side and TSMC, Micron and Samsung on the semiconductor side. And in June, the US Senate adopts the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which pours an additional $ 52 billion into the industry.
A few days after that, the shortage of chips, although not initially on the agenda, became one of the main topics of the June G7 summit in Karis Bay (UK). After the summit, the US government and the European Commission create a common council to overcome the problem of shortage of microchips, and in July Pat Gelsinger, the head of Intel, arrives in the Old World to meet with the presidents of Italy and France (Fig. 2) about the construction of a new semiconductor plant in one of the European countries. The European Commission is also working on the Digital Compass program, which provides for multibillion-dollar investments in the creation of modern semiconductor production in the European Union by 2030, up to a 2-nm process technology.
And yet, in the short term, the shortage of microcircuits can not be stopped. The shortage of components hit the automotive industry the hardest, up to the shutdown of conveyors of the world’s leading manufacturers. Also, the inability to increase production due to a lack of components complain manufacturers of computers, smartphones, network equipment, etc. And how did it all start?
According to the compilers of the most recent IPC report (to July 2021, published in August), there are five key reasons for the current state of the semiconductor market: the imbalance of supply chains, the optimism of manufacturers, inflation, the situation on the labor market and, of course, the spread of coronavirus.