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Realtek Chip Shortage Is More Bad News for PC, Components Market

Stock image of Realtek chip
(Image credit: MZinchenko / Shutterstock.com)

It seems that Realtek has joined the long list of supply chain bottlenecks. DigiTimes today reported that the company is struggling to meet demand for the various chips manufacturers use in their notebooks, automobiles and other kinds of devices.

In the story, DigiTimes remarked that Realtek has extended their delivery lead times to 32 weeks as the capacity of the foundries is currently tight and there are shortfalls in the supply of the necessary raw materials.

Those chips are found in a wide variety of products. The audio+LAN chips are used in notebooks, for example, and the xDSL chips are being used in "smart city projects" by Samsung. But the shortage of networking equipment might be most worrisome.

Realtek is reportedly falling short of demand for wired networking (Ethernet chips and switches) and wireless communication chips such as Bluetooth. There are alternative solutions, of course, but Realtek is said to supply 70% of the audio+LAN chips used in the global notebook market. Manufacturers can't just find alternative suppliers for all those notebooks—especially during a global chip shortage.

All of this means that Realtek's problems are in many ways the rest of the world's problems. DigiTimes said the company's supply issues have caused production delays for notebook makers, the automotive industry and other sectors.

DigiTimes reports that Dell, HP, and other notebook manufacturers have raised concerns with Realtek, exerting pressure to ship more chips to meet the demand. But with supply issues extending even to Apple, the world's most valuable company, the relaying of concerns seems unlikely to solve the issue.

Those companies will just have to wait for Realtek's chips. Many will also be looking for improved supplies of other chips, display panels, display drivers, and many other components besides. Just don't expect those shortages to be addressed overnight.

  • Geef
    Finally! :LOL:

    Many years ago, I bought a Soundblaster Z to prepare my system for the Realtek Chip Shortage! :ROFLMAO:
    Reply
  • watzupken
    Geef said:
    Finally! :LOL:

    Many years ago, I bought a Soundblaster Z to prepare my system for the Realtek Chip Shortage! :ROFLMAO:
    It won't help. Motherboards mostly use Realtek chips to power their LAN, wireless connection (if any), and sound. If any of these chips are in short supply, motherboard makers are unlikely to deliver an incomplete motherboard. So in short if this is true, then you will see a knock on impact on desktop, laptop and tablets (less so on tablets).
    Reply
  • Matt_ogu812
    One has to wonder W.I.G.N. did Realtek put all their eggs in one basket by not having a second sources for a 'what if' scenario like what is happening now.
    Thinking that if a shortage were to occur that they would capitalize on it by just raising prices? Good times or bad times they'll still be in the money.
    Reply
  • customer2
    watzupken said:
    It won't help. Motherboards mostly use Realtek chips to power their LAN, wireless connection (if any), and sound. If any of these chips are in short supply, motherboard makers are unlikely to deliver an incomplete motherboard. So in short if this is true, then you will see a knock on impact on desktop, laptop and tablets (less so on tablets).

    USB sound card and WIFI adapter are here to help.
    Reply