Chips, why do they no longer exist? The reasons for the crisis (and the consequences for us) –


The last sign of an unprecedented crisis inevitably comes from Taiwan where its treasure hunt microchip it is becoming more and more difficult and expensive. The chip giant Tsmc, the world leader, just planned to increase prices between 10% and 20% between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, due to growing demand and reduced supply. There, they cite various industry sources, which are gradually growing from customers including most semiconductor companies, such as Infineon and the Italian-French consortium STMicroelectronics, as well as some major device manufacturers such as Apple.

Impact on industry (and Italy)

The impact on electronics is inevitable, in a subtle phase for the entire supply chain that goes from semiconductors to chips and reachesautomotive industry, involved in the lack of raw materials and ingredients which causes a slowdown in production and prices are heating up. In Melfi the last production station for the Stellantis factory, which alone represents almost 50% of the car volumes in Italy of the group born from the merger between Fca and PsaProlonged requests for social security nets for Italian workers in a market that was already in hiccups and a few months after the integration between the two groups at risk of overlapping between facilities.

Because the market is blocked

We could define 2021 as the year of the chip war

Foundries producing microprocessors designed elsewhere are concentrated in Taiwan. A global crisis fueled by technological advances driven by 5G using chips for new telecommunications equipment. The initial flaw, say the confidential ones, is the whole year Covid 2020 in which the car manufacturers’ sales forecasts last March were more prudent than what actually happened in the market. The volume and demand for semiconductors has changed, which historically only affects cars for 10% of world volume. Manufacturers use the formula just in time. The contract is constantly renegotiated with the supplier, in order to always have the warehouse at zero to minimize the cost of logistics. For several months now, there has been a question of redistributing the supply of chips also because in the meantime, new semiconductor plants will be built, the duration of which also requires 12-18 months.

The electric car and the hunger for microchips

The shortage in the supply of semiconductors has

reached high important dimensions to wrap up the automotive industry that uses electronics and its components. The chips now account for more than 30% of the cost of the premium vehicle and the price is expected to increase as investment in the autonomous car boosts. A shortage such as endangering more than 2 million vehicles a year if there is no quick balance in semiconductor supply compared to other segments such as consumer electronics such as computers and smartphones. Microchips are widely used in the automotive industry for safety systems (airbags, ADAS), operation and monitoring systems, remote control systems, communication systems, sound and entertainment. Globally, the market value of “microcontrollers” in the automotive sector has exceeded $ 4 million and is constantly increasing. The demand for cars is also increasing due to the high content of technological innovation that distinguishes the sector. Especially in the latest models these components are necessary for the proper operation of the vehicle. In electric cars the number of semiconductors on average doubles compared to those with internal combustion engines.

The climate emergency and the trade war between the US and China

One of the reasons for this lack is an insignificant role

it is played by the climate emergency. Last year’s natural disasters affected the areas where most of the semiconductor plants are concentrated (especially in Asia, but also in North America). An earthquake shook Japan and prevented the production of one of the main ones Supplier microchip or the energy crisis – due to a power outage – that has blocked one of the major factories in Texas for days. Added to the protracted “trade war” between the United States and China, as evidenced by the Chinese manufacturer’s “accumulated” shares Huawei powered by chips for reuter and tlc antennas. In April, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, met with top executives from twelve major automakers and digital companies, including General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Ford CEO Jim Farley, at the White House to discuss the lack of semiconductors.

The struggle for new plants (in the US)

The decision was inevitable: strengthening the chains

United States supply. $ 50 billion has been put on the table to build and research semiconductors. “We all know that semiconductors are the building blocks of our future economy,” he said. Gina Raimondo – and as we go through data and the digital revolution, chips remain at the heart of many new technologies where we will see jobs being created. If we do not invest in semiconductors, we will be even further behind. But the timing of the investment does not allow the crisis to subside at this time.


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