ntel has predicted that the global chip shortage will last until at least 2023. Six months after that forecast, the company’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, suggests the problems may not end until 2024. Speaking to CNBC on Friday, the executive noted that unlike previous predictions that the overall semiconductor shortage will end in 2023, they now believe it could move into 2024. Production lines will become more worrisome as shortages now affect equipment.
While this prediction may seem a bit bleak, you should know that chip shortages are a dynamic and evolving situation that doesn’t always affect all chip types. As things have progressed, some industries and parts have been affected worse than others. In fact, it’s going pretty well for Intel chips. “For the first time in recent years, our Intel fabs and substrate offerings are close to meeting our customers’ demand,” Gelsinger said Thursday at the company’s Q1 2022 earnings call.
When Gelsinger says the shortfall will extend through 2024, he’s talking in part about the industry’s ability to meet demand for new products built on new lines, not just existing lines. “We expect the industry to continue to face challenges in areas such as foundry capacity and tool availability like IDM at least through 2024.” Digitimes recently reported that chipmaking equipment suppliers are backing up on an 18-month schedule, enough for six more months than last year.
In other words, CPUs, GPUs and gaming consoles were some of the biggest items affected by the shortage, but supply and demand already seem to be starting to even out. But network chip vendors are still in the midst of a major chip shortage. Gelsinger pointed to Ethernet as a particularly difficult ecosystem supply constraint, slowing PC shipments.
Meanwhile, Intel; one of the companies that has invested heavily in new production lines by building new factories in the US states of Ohio, Arizona and Germany. However, the current timeline shows that none of these new factories will be active until the chip shortage passes. The first new manufacturing facilities in Chandler, Arizona are not scheduled to open until 2024.