The global semiconductor shortage roiling a wide range of industries is not likely to be resolved for a few more years, Intel Corp chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger said on Sunday.
The company is reworking some of its factories to increase production and address the chip shortage in the auto industry, he said in an interview with CBS News.
It might take at least several months for the strain on supply to even begin easing, he added.
“We have a couple of years until we catch up to this surging demand across every aspect of the business,” Gelsinger said.
Demand for semiconductors was boosted last year as consumers scooped up home gadgets during the COVID-19 pandemic, but meeting that increase has been hard, thanks to shuttered plants, among other factors.
Companies worldwide say they expect supply-chain constraints to continue for much of this year due to logistics backlogs and the chip shortage.
The crunch has catapulted semiconductor firms into the limelight and to the top of political agendas.
The administration of US President Joe Biden last month told companies vying with each other for semiconductors that he has bipartisan support for government funding to address the shortages.
Gelsinger said that the US dominance in the industry had dwindled so much that only 12 percent of the world’s semiconductor manufacturing is done in the nation, from 37 percent 25 years ago.
Intel is the only US manufacturer of high-end, cutting-edge chips, he told CBS News.
“And anybody who looks at supply chain says: ‘That’s a problem,’” he said. “This is a big, critical industry and we want more of it on American soil: the jobs that we want in America, the control of our long-term technology future.”
The supply constraints are affecting a wide array of industries, with technology firms and automakers alike flagging production cuts and lost revenue from the fallout.
Meanwhile, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) told CBS News that his firm, having heard about shortages at the end of last year, tried to “squeeze” out as many chips as possible for automakers.
“Today, we think we are two months ahead, that we can catch up [to] the minimum requirement of our customers by the end of June,” he said.
The supply shortage might only be alleviated by the end of the year or early next year, he added.
“There’s a time lag,” Liu said. “In car chips, particularly, the supply chain is long and complex.”
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