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Forget PS5 restocks — global chip shortage now spilling over to all of these products

Samsung WF45R6300AW washing machine
(Image credit: Samsung)

Yes, the PS5 restock situation is bad. And the global chip shortage is starting to affect even more consumer products. Everything from washing machines to toasters could be impacted by the lack of silicon-based products. 

Everything from camera modules and display drivers are in need of parts that are in short supply, according to the Irish Times

Some smartphone manufacturers might even be forced to delay new launches if the problems persist. And the phones, TVs and cars that are available could see price increases due to chip shortages, which is the last thing anyone wants for already-expensive smartphones. 

General Motors recently explained that some of its 2021 trucks would be handed over to customers missing a key processor that allows engines to shut down engine cylinders when they’re not needed. Trucks with GM’s 5.3 liter V8 engines would see fuel efficiency decrease by 1mpg. 

Other cars may well be affected, too, with VW admitting that the chip shortages would have some impact on its business. Modern cars are incredibly reliant on a variety of computer systems, from managing engine performance through to the more obvious in-car entertainment systems that rely heavily on both CPUs and GPUs to function. 

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told the BBC that things are unlikely to improve in the next six months. He said,  "We think we've got another six months to get through the short term. The providers are building out more capacity. And that'll get better and better over the next 12 to 18 months."

The problem isn’t one that’s easy to solve, either. While the pandemic hasn’t exactly helped, it’s not the only issue, and chip manufacturers are using all of their capacity to produce products. The world simply doesn’t have enough fabrication for the amount of demand and until new facilities are built the problem will persist. TSMC, the world’s largest chip manufacturer, is spending $100 billion over the next three years increasing capacity, according to the BBC

It seems like we’re stuck with some real supply issues for the immediate future. There are few companies or products that aren’t feeling this in some way. It might be your RTX 3080 that’s overpriced, or a surprising lack of toasters on sale, but the core problem remains the same and won’t be quick to resolve. 

A tech journalist with many years of experience, Ian got his start writing about the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray. Technology might have moved on, but there's still plenty of skirmishes to report on.