A perfect storm of circumstances is hitting the semiconductor industry, and its effects are being felt in many corners of the world and by a wide range of people. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries found themselves in altered states of business, having to deal with economic and supply chain disruptions, changes to work environments, and transportation issues as the world adapted to the new normal. However, the global shortage of chips that are routinely used in laptops, smartphones, televisions, and more can be traced further than just the effects of the pandemic. In addition to lockdowns and their effects, there have been strikes in France and a fire at a Japanese manufacturing plant that has limited the manufacturing of the plants, and Chinese companies, reacting to sanctions placed on them, have bought remaining chips in bulk, leaving a shortage.
The shortages are felt as demand for products requiring chips, such as laptops, cell phones, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi sources, is increasing at rates not originally anticipated, especially as the culture of working from home is becoming more common and prevalent. These chips are used in a variety of other industries as well, and as they rebound from the pandemic, demand will increase. For example, the car market in China has returned much quicker than expected, which is adding more stress on a manufacturing industry that is already reeling with a shortage. As there are a limited number of facilities able to manufacture these chips, many industries and products are all vying for priority from facilities that can only produce a certain quantity.
Trends in the chips themselves has also added to the intersection of many circumstances creating this increased demand but lack of supply. For the longest time, 200mm fabs were the most in demand, but as the 300mm fabs were released, demand dropped for 200mm fabs as consumers were interested in what the newer version could offer. However, around 2014, an unexpected reversal came as people began to revert to 200mm fabs, finding that they offered what was needed at lower manufacturing costs. But, as many companies had already adapted their abilities to manufacture further generations of fabs and could not move backwards, demand for 200mm fabs increased. Of course, an increased demand for these chips is excellent for the industry and manufacturing as a whole, but the electronics supply chain already found itself operating at its capacity before the pandemic hit and affected demand and manufacturing needs simultaneously both positively and negatively.
As demand is at an increased level, there are many new opportunities for a company to take on to help meet this need for chips and fabs. Companies interested in joining the manufacturing side to help meet this demand and create much-needed supplies should check out EquipNet’s Pre-Owned Electronics Equipment page. On this page, one can find a wide variety of high-quality front and back end tools as well as SMT/PCB and Electronic Testing equipment.
Another way a company can help with meeting this demand is to sell any idle assets it may have in a facility. Perhaps a company has moved on from manufacturing a certain type of chip but still has the equipment. There is no need for this to go to waste, for another company can make great use of it. Through EquipNet’s Electronics Investment Recovery page, a company can find the right way to redeploy or sell its unneeded assets. These sustainable solutions help the seller earn extra cash and free up space in its facility, while the buyer receives a high-quality asset that will save them some money while still successfully serving its purpose and preventing a useful piece of equipment from lying idle for too long or ending up in a landfill.
If you have any questions on how you can join or assist the demand currently in the semiconductor industry through the used equipment market, contact EquipNet today at 781-821-3482 or at [email protected]!