Skip to main content

Chip shortages may last through 2023, affecting consoles, computers and cars

Hand in purple color glove holding microchip photo sensor matrix. On the background is diced silicon wafer with microchips. Focus on chip.
(Image credit: Morozov Anatoly | Shutterstock)

It seems the global chip shortage will continue to persist into 2023 at the latest, affecting everything from PS5 restocks to car production. 

The news comes from the Financial Times (via 9to5Mac) in which reporters spoke with executives at Flex, the third largest chip maker in the world. 

"With such strong demand, the expectation is mid to late-2022 depending on the commodity. Some are expecting [shortages to continue] into 2023,” Flex’s chief procurement and supply chain officer Lynn Torrel told the Financial Times. 

The global chip shortage has made things an absolute nightmare for consumers wanting the latest tech. Graphics cards like the latest Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti sold out in seconds, and that particular is likely to remain sold out until manufacturers can get a better handle on the ongoing situation.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, mines that were shut down in one part of the world for months greatly limited the amount of material being shipped to Asia for chip manufacturing. It's had a snowball effect that won't seemingly end until global government can get vaccines into people's arms. 

According to a report by the New York Times, many manufacturers had adopted Toyota's "Just In Time" model for production. The idea is that parts are delivered to factories just as soon as components are needed for assembly. This limits stockpile, and if for whatever reason a component turns out to be faulty, instead of sitting on tons of bad parts, new ones can easily be ordered. That same model has extended to all sorts of industries, from food to fashion. It allows for greater speed in manufacturing, which is handy considering companies are updating products on a yearly basis. 

Unfortunately, the "Just In Time" model and a global pandemic do not gel well together.

The new Chevrolet Corvette C8 is reportedly halting production, Apple is expecting iPad 2021 and MacBook 2021 shortages and, of course, finding Xbox Series X restocks remains a perpetual challenge. 

And it's not for lack of trying. Taiwan is so desperately allocating resources to chip production that it's leaving farmers without enough water for crops, according to the Wall Street Journal

It seems that the only way to really get through this is to get more people vaccinated. And with 2.5 billion shots currently administered, that could take a while.