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Global Chip Shortage Threatens Production Of Laptops, Smartphones

English

Global chip shortage threatens production of laptops, smartphones and more.

Makers of cars and electronic devices from TVs to smartphones are sounding alarm bells about a global shortage of chips, which is causing manufacturing delays as consumer demand bounces back from the coronavirus crisis.

Global chip shortage threatens production of laptops, smartphones and more.

The problem has several causes, industry executives and analysts say, including bulk-buying by U.S. sanctions-hit Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies, a fire at a chip plant in Japan, coronavirus lockdowns in Southeast Asia, and a strike in France.

More fundamentally, however, there has been under-investment in 8-inch chip manufacturing plants owned mostly by Asian firms, which means they have struggled to ramp up production as demand for 5G phones, laptops and cars picked up faster than expected.

"For the whole electronics industry, we've been experiencing a shortage of components," said Donny Zhang, CEO of Shenzhen-based sourcing company Sand and Wave, who said he faced delays in obtaining a microcontroller unit that was key to a smart headphone product he was working on.

"We were originally planning to complete production in one month, but now it looks like we'll need to do it in two."

A source at a Japanese electronics component supplier said it was seeing shortages of WiFi and Bluetooth chips and was expecting delays of more than 10 weeks.

 

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