Several countries in the world are experiencing a new chapter, after the most critical phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, among other things, brought a lack of semiconductors needed for various markets. At this time of economic recovery, global leaders are divided: 56% believe the current chip crisis will last until 2023, while 42% expect it to end as early as 2022, according to data from the 17th annual “Global Semiconductor Industry Outlook” survey.
Also according to a survey conducted by KPMG in partnership with the GSA (Global Semiconductor Alliance) of 152 executives from the semiconductor industry, 95% of executives believe that their companies’ revenues should increase in the next year. In addition, respondents’ financial and operational confidence reached an all-time high: 34% of executives expect improvement above 20%.
Daniel Carvalho, commercial director at Hi-Mix – a company that manufactures electronic products – notes that the shortage of semiconductors in the global market has affected the production of electronic products in Brazil.
“The shortage is caused by the fact that the country imports all the electronic components that make up products such as cell phones and computers, among other devices, and produces the final product by integrating and assembling electronic boards,” he explains.
The expert points out that most electronic products developed in Brazil use imported parts. “We have no investment in the area of semiconductor manufacturing and we depend on factories in Asia worth billions of dollars.”
The semiconductor crisis has hit the world
According to Carvalho, the component crisis has led to deglobalization in terms of factory locations and investment of around US$50 billion (R$255.47 billion) from the United States to set up semiconductor factories.
“Several factors can explain the shortage of semiconductors in the last two years, such as problems of shortage of raw materials such as silicon and problems with logistics, which became scarce during 2020, with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
In addition, the expert highlights elements such as the consumption of all semiconductor stocks, the issue of the rise of global demand for technology and the widespread attachment to remote work around the world, which has encouraged the exchange of mobile phones, smartphones, computers, televisions and household appliances.
“Factory closings, especially in Asia, played an important role in the crisis. Recently, the war in Ukraine has also worsened the situation, as that country is the largest producer of neon gas used in the integrated circuit manufacturing process,” he adds. All this, added up, created a bottleneck in the chain and today some manufacturers fulfill orders with a delivery time of at least two years, he says.
Companies and governments are looking for solutions to the crisis
In Carvalho’s analysis, overcoming the semiconductor crisis is a complex issue involving heavy investment and government pressures on manufacturers to increase capacity. “This scenario affects the GDP (gross domestic product) of several countries, especially where there are exports of electric cars, where the growth of embedded electronics has been exponential with the advancement of these technologies.”
Hi-Mix’s commercial director draws attention to the fact that companies around the world have been working on new designs in search of alternatives with shorter delivery times. In addition, companies have demonstrated creativity, resilience, transparency with customers, technical capacity and investment to continue manufacturing electronic products.
“The next two years will continue to be challenging, but some manufacturers are showing signs of improvement. Either way, it is essential that countries like the United States, China and Taiwan continue to invest to bring global semiconductor inventory levels to desirable levels across the chain,” he concludes.
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