AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su doesn’t seem all that worried about the global chip shortage. In fact, she said in an interview with Bloomberg that this is just a “megacycle” the semiconductor industry has to go through. It's the type of thing she says she has watched the industry go through similar periods of demand far outpacing supply throughout her career.
“Semiconductors do go through these cycles,” she said. “There are some times when supply is much greater than demand, and there are some times when demand is much greater than supply. And this particular cycle is special because what we're seeing is the incredible demand for all things that require chips [across markets].”
That isn’t hyperbole. The ongoing chip shortage has affected the availability of everything from automobiles and display drivers to graphics cards and single-board computers. It’s reached the point where Newegg is holding raffles with a fraction of a percent chance of receiving the opportunity to buy — not win — the latest hardware.
“Yes, it's a lot to manage,” Su said of the chip shortage in her interview with Bloomberg. “But I have to tell you, this industry is also really good at managing these things. And you know, it does take a while for the supply and demand imbalance to balance itself out, but we are very much working together as an industry."
Some of those efforts include AMD and Intel investing in substrate production and essentially every large tech company joining the Semiconductor Industry Association Coalition to secure $50 billion from the U.S. government to support the American chip industry. (Not to mention AMD’s promise to up production of its own products.)
As for when the chip shortage ends and companies run the risk of having oversupply problems, well, it doesn’t seem like Su is particularly worried about that either.
”I think what's important [is] the strength of the product portfolio, the markets we're addressing,” she said. ”At AMD we've chosen markets that we think are very resilient. Everyone is going to need more computing whether it's this year, 2022, 2023. We just think computing is one of those trends that you're going to need more of. So we've been investing in those types of areas. My view of the world is that it's important to have the right products, it's important to be in the right markets, and then of course executing well along the way."
We expect these kinds of assurances from semiconductor executives, of course, because it’s better to project stability than to make it seem like the company is going to struggle to respond to a situation that’s likely to repeat itself in the future. But it’s still remarkable to watch Su make it seem like everything’s fine despite this struggle.
Su was similarly poised when she discussed the chip shortage at CES 2021 in January, and if this interview’s any indication, don’t be surprised if she delivers a similar message during her Computex 2021 keynote in June.