Silicon Chip Manufacturing Equipment Now Undergoing Supply Issues

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Chip manufacturers like Samsung, Intel, and TSMC are now suffering directly from the chip shortage. As reported by Bloomberg this week, equipment used in the production of silicon chips is undergoing a shortage due to the fact that these devices need silicon-based microcontrollers themselves to function properly.

With a severe shortage in silicon supply, companies like Kulicke and Soffa Industries Inc. that produce equipment for chip plants have doubled delivery times from three to six months already.  

This shortage is especially frustrating for these companies, as they themselves want to expand production capabilities rapidly to get around this chip shortage once and for all. But ironically, the shortage they are trying to fix is directly affecting their ability to get more fabs up and running.

With lead times extending to half a year, companies like Innolux Corp. and Asustek Computer Inc. have said that these chip imbalances will force the silicon chip shortage to extend well into 2021, and most likely into early next year as well.

So it seems this chip shortage will be with us for the entirety of 2021. Let's just hope this problem doesn't extend into 2022 as well.

Aaron Klotz
Contributing Writer

Aaron Klotz is a contributing writer for Tom’s Hardware, covering news related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • Co BIY
    This at least the chip manufacture's can help address directly. Prioritize the parts needed to build the machines to build the parts.

    I was shocked to read that ASML can only ship about 50 EUV process machines a year and that their production limits are a major factor in limiting capacity growth.