Global Semiconductor Shortage
In today’s modern era, technology is everywhere. With each passing year, our electronics get smarter and more capable than before. This is largely in thanks to the discovery of computers, more specifically the semiconductor or ‘chip’ for short. This small electronic wonder is not just in your cell phone or computer, it is also in almost everything else on the growing internet. If you have been watching the news you may have seen a couple of world leaders, including US President Biden, make addresses on this issue. Today we are seeing the first truly global shortage of these chips. This has been felt greatly by the computing industry in particular because of three main factors. Let’s take some time to break those three factors down.
You may know where I am going with the first hurdle if you have kept up with the news from last year. The first and biggest factor we are going to discuss is Covid-19. In 2019, a lot of new GPU and CPU products were announced for 2020 by leading tech companies Nvidia, Intel, and AMD. Anticipation was high among computer enthusiasts and OEMs (e.g. Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc.). Once Covid-19 was fully realized by the world and things locked down, everything was put into question. In the end, there was some delay in launch dates, but everyone assumed once manufacturing was back in place it would be fine. Fast forward to now and there was a factor unaccounted for which is the massive increase in demand for electronic devices brought on by stay-at-home education and remote work. Covid demands flooded every market and production that started post-Covid. Producers were underwater within weeks. Many electronic industries experienced just below previous Black Friday type sales since the middle of summer last year.
The second factor was a huge sudden financial boom for digital currency. Mining these currencies is often taken on by multiple individuals running hundreds of computers at once. Thousands of soon to be miners flooded the market to buy whatever they could use to make money off the boom. Since then, both AMD and Nvidia have run out of stock of any GPUs produced within the last five years on most sites, retail or online, that carry their products.
The last factor is opportunists or “scalpers”. Prior to this launch, we had occasionally seen some scalping of GPUs early in their launches. However, this time they were out in unprecedented numbers. With Covid-19 causing most GPUs and CPUs to be bought online, “scalpers” built bots that were made to refresh a company’s website and immediately buy any in stock products. As a result, for months everything has been selling out in seconds. The only place you will often find these products are on eBay for at least a 100% markup from the MSRP.
All of these factors are why we are currently seeing month-long wait times predicted for laptops and computers that previously would have arrived in three to four days minimum. We appreciate your patience as we try our best to navigate this new obstacle while providing you with our services to the best of our capability. Please contact our team of professionals if you have questions about the content of this article. You can call our phone number. 440-322-ILER(4537).