How many years will the ongoing chip shortage affect tech companies around the world? This week, multiple tech executives offered their own dismal estimates as part of their usual public financial disclosures, with the worst coming in “a few years.”
That dire estimate comes from Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who offered that vague timetable to The Washington Post in an interview Tuesday. He clarified that this was an estimate of how long it would take for the company to “build capacity” to address potential supply shortages. The conversation came as Intel offered to act for two supply chains particularly squeezed by the silicon drought: medical supplies and in-car computer systems.
In previous statements, Gelsinger pointed to Intel’s current $20 billion plan to build a few factories in Arizona, and this week’s interview added praise for President Joe Biden’s proposed $50 billion chip manufacturing infrastructure plan — though Gelsinger indicated that Biden should be willing to spend money. more than that.
Born in Arizona…
CC Wei, CEO of TSMC, offered a similarly poor estimate to investors on Thursday, saying the Taiwan-based company hoped “to provide more capacity” by 2023 to meet retail and manufacturing demand. Coincidentally, TSMC is moving forward with its own factory in Arizona, which Bloomberg said could cost “up to $12 billion,” despite the company making it clear that it plans to prioritize research, development and manufacturing in its home country.
Graphics card and SoC maker Nvidia joined the grim estimation club this week, though Nvidia has a more optimistic belief that it will come out with “sufficient supply to sustain sequential growth.” [fiscal] Q1 Until then, “we expect demand to continue to outpace supply for much of this year,” she added. (After seeing the comment sections of recent GPU reviews at Ars Technica , we certainly believe that.)
But as tech companies race to navigate natural disasters, exponential consumer demand and the construction of brand new facilities, some questions remain unanswered. How will so much scaling up of new factories end? Will they meet their build deadlines and will they be anywhere near as efficient as promised or hoped once their lines open? Automakers and gamers alike will be watching with great interest.