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AMD CEO Lisa Su Doesn’t Seem All That Worried About the Chip Shortage

AMD, Lisa Su
(Image credit: AMD)

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.

  • ezst036
    She's correct. To some extent, you could say that miners are "hoarding" video cards. That's only one aspect of the overall shortage/problem, but it's still there.

    Is anybody here still hoarding toilet paper? I bet many hoarded toilet paper about a year ago.

    It's always temporary, and we will all cheer the low prices that result from the oversupply that comes in the next few months or year. This isn't the first mega cycle and won't be the last. We'll talk about it like we did the toilet paper shortage.
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    Agree with the evaluation of a cycle added to a secular (non-cycle) growth trend in semi-conductors. That lessens the risk of expansion and investment.
    Reply
  • pug_s
    AMD is taking advantage of this 'shortage' by selling all of its processors at a premium. Forget about GPU's, there are no more cheaper Ryzen 3's, Athlon CPU's anymore. Ryzen 5 3600x is the cheapest CPU's that you can buy today and it cost more than Intel I5 CPU's.
    Reply
  • egda23
    Why would she be concerned, given the price they are selling what they can produce.
    Probably one of their best year, financially
    Reply
  • LolaGT
    AMD is laughing all the way to the bank, they don't care about anything except selling everything they can produce, regardless of any other factor.
    They are popping champagne corks and have been for months.
    Reply
  • PapaCrazy
    And in other news... Willy Wonka not worried about candy shortage
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    egda23 said:
    Why would she be concerned, given the price they are selling what they can produce.
    Probably one of their best year, financially
    Exactly. No point in worrying about shortages when you are having two of your best years in the company's history thanks to being perpetually sold-out of everything you are able to get made at maxed-out prices.
    Reply
  • vern72
    pug_s said:
    AMD is taking advantage of this 'shortage' by selling all of its processors at a premium. Forget about GPU's, there are no more cheaper Ryzen 3's, Athlon CPU's anymore. Ryzen 5 3600x is the cheapest CPU's that you can buy today and it cost more than Intel I5 CPU's.
    Really? I haven't noticed this. The CPU prices I'm seeing are actually a bit lower than normal (i.e. they are being discounted). I guess the increases haven't got here yet.
    Reply
  • Umfriend
    It's funny to see how in the past, Intel often got accused of abusing their performance monopoly by charging to high prices and now that AMD challenges or even wears the performance crown, the same is leveled against AMD. As if AMD was ever some sort of benevolent company working for the good of all (which, like Intel, they are, just not by selling for less than they can). I guess it is a special case of Winners' Curse.
    Reply
  • Howardohyea
    ezst036 said:
    She's correct. To some extent, you could say that miners are "hoarding" video cards. That's only one aspect of the overall shortage/problem, but it's still there.

    Is anybody here still hoarding toilet paper? I bet many hoarded toilet paper about a year ago.

    It's always temporary, and we will all cheer the low prices that result from the oversupply that comes in the next few months or year. This isn't the first mega cycle and won't be the last. We'll talk about it like we did the toilet paper shortage.
    I really like how cool you are with everything, also AMD isn't concerned about shortage as long they can make money, which they are doing by a lot
    Reply