Reports that the global chip shortage is coming to an end are wide of the mark. This is according to Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who has suggested that the ongoing shortage of semiconductors is now likely to continue until 2024.
Gelsinger made this grim prediction in a recent interview with CNBC, noting while he had originally forecast that the shortage would start to clear up in 2023, recent developments have meant the supply situation doesn’t appear to be improving as hoped.
Gelsinger explained that key manufacturing equipment is now being impacted by the shortage, which means that chip production cannot match the continued strong demand.
He said: “That’s part of the reason that we believe the overall semiconductor shortage will now drift into 2024, from our earlier estimates in 2023, just because the shortages have now hit equipment and some of those factory ramps will be more challenged.”
The global chip shortage impacted the production of everything from next-gen consoles to vital medical equipment over the last two years. It spawned from the Covid-19 pandemic shutting down supply chains and delaying manufacturing, which coupled with increased consumer demand for electronics has resulted in a bottleneck.
While production on some in-demand products has improved recently, finding a PS5 restock or a flagship graphics card at retail price still requires a great deal of effort. Unfortunately, if Gelsinger's warning is indeed correct then these coveted items will continue to be hard to buy for years to come. Furthermore, the global chip shortage persisting is likely to impact future product releases as well.
There have already been rumors that Sony’s upcoming virtual-reality headset, the PSVR 2, has been delayed into 2023 in part due to manufacturing issues. Plus, last year the iPhone 13 suffered from production shortages, and it’s entirely possible that Apple’s rumored upcoming slate of smartphones, tablets and MacBooks will endure a similar fate.
Of course, the situation almost certainly won't be linear, and we expect to see periods of increased availability for popular products, followed by periods of decreased stock. Just be warned, if you're after a new video game console, smartphone, electric car, or just about anything powered by a semiconductor expect to face stock issues. Unfortunately, the global chip shortage looks to be far from over.