Nobody should be surprised at this point to hear stories about how manufacturers from all over the world are struggling to cope with chip shortages. What might be surprising, though, is how bad the situation has become over the last few months.
As indicated by the latest data from Susquehanna Financial Group, the gap between ordering a chip and having it delivered has widened to an especially worrisome extent. Chip-starved companies now have to wait more than 20 weeks to have their orders fulfilled, which, according to Bloomberg’s coverage, is an increase of more than eight days from what manufacturers were already faced with earlier this summer.
While a whole range of components that include logic chips used in cars, industrial equipment, and home electronics are affected, what might make the impact especially glaring in the eyes of the average PC user is the onset of new systems leveraging Microsoft’s latest OS, or the lack thereof.
As pointed out by outlets such as Windows Central, the chip shortage seems poised to hamper the availability of new Windows 11 machines. Although Lenovo, HP, Dell, and other major manufacturers may be less affected, companies such as Microsoft that work with smaller orders could struggle with getting what they need. The implication here is that devices in the popular Surface line might be tougher to get.
Industry figures such as NXP Semiconductors’ President and CEO Kurt Sievers has warned that the chip shortage is likely to extend into 2022.
Lead times for [microcontrollers] are now 26.5 weeks, compared with a typical range of six to nine weeks. In better news for industries that rely on semiconductors, the lead times were reduced for power management chips, semiconductors that regulate the flow of electricity in everything from smartphones to solar power generation.