TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Delivery times for some semiconductors have now been extended to nearly two years amid the ongoing global chip crisis.
Lead times for semiconductor orders are five to 15 weeks longer in February than in October, Nikkei quoted US electronics component distributor Sourceengine. Wait times for 16-bit processors used in general-purpose products average 44 weeks, up 15 weeks from October, while delivery times for power chips increased by nine at 37 weeks.
The longest delay for processors reached 99, according to the report.
The backlog is partly explained by demand exceeding supply, while another factor is that chipmakers are focusing on advanced silicon rather than more mature processes used in chip products. based. Semiconductor prices are also rising, with the average price of processors and other chips rising 15% or more in a year, Nikkei said, citing data from US research firm Gartner.
In order to avoid cutting production, manufacturers are now trying to increase chip inventories, which has further increased demand.
Chipmakers have focused on ramping up production, with wafer shipments rising 14% in 2021. A US trade group estimates fab utilization rates hovered around 90% in 2020 and 2021.
Yet, with chipmakers prioritizing advanced chips, the production capacity of semiconductors using 40-nm and larger processes only increased by 4% in 2021. Meanwhile, the capacity of 28nm and less rose 13%, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
Another concern raised by the Nikkei report is that the accumulation of chip inventories by companies could affect future demand for semiconductors. A slowdown in sales could leave the industry facing a major supply glut.