10 Feb 2021 -

Electronic component supply chain faces growing pressure, says ECIA

As demand for electronics and electronics components grows in 2021, it is anticipated supply chain pressure will build, according to ECIA (Electronic Component Industry Association).

ECIA has identified extending lead times for a broad range of electronic components. However, specific component sectors will see greater challenges as the ability of suppliers to increase production is limited by capacity constraints.

Widespread problems across many markets are caused by the insufficient investment in 200mm wafers, according to Joel Huskra in Extreme Tech. While significant amounts of production have shifted to 300mm wafers and smaller process geometries, major foundries such as TSMC and Samsung still run 200mm fab lines. Several second-tier foundries also run 200mm wafers, such as GlobalFoundries, SMIC, UMC, TowerJazz, and SkyWater.

Huskra writes, the economics of chip design and production drive attractive, lower-cost solutions produced at larger process geometries on 200mm wafers. “Many IoT and 5G chips are built on 200mm, as are many analog processors, power management devices, MEMS devices, image sensors, RF components, etc. As demand for these components has grown, 200mm capacity has become constrained. Large foundries like TSMC have been slow to add new 200mm capacity, and utilization was already high at many 200mm fabs before the pandemic hit.”

The ECIA adds that as demand for automotive electronics has rebounded, the shortage of chips produced on 200mm wafers has become much more acute. Automaker difficulties in securing adequate supplies of chips are heightened due to the lower priority they receive from semiconductor manufacturers.

To avoid electronics supply-chain disruptions, you may also wish to consult an expert in electronics component supply. With more than three decades of supply-chain expertise, Astute Electronics is ideally placed to work with you on your daily component requirements.

Either through the hundreds of manufacturers we purchase directly from, or the international network of component supply-partners offering full product traceability, Astute Safe-Supply, run by sourcing experts and offers a deeper insight into the global components markets.

With real-time access to the latest listings and prices cultivated through several decades of close supplier partnerships, we are able to spot price disparities and leverage product price variances to deliver cost-effective solutions to customers, whilst ensuring a quality, risk-free supply.

For more help with looking at supply chain options, contact Astute Electronics here

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