CAN SAMSUNG SOLVE THE CHIP SHORTAGE IMBROGLIO!
Solving the semiconductor shortage, which has been plaguing the world for quite sometime now, is being dealt differently, by different chip manufacturers, business companies, organisations and of course the nation states. The nation states have to face the music, if there is an economic downturn because on this count. There is not denying the fact that the situation has improved considerably, but having gone through the Covid-19 supply chain breakdown, no one wants to take chances. It is certainly better to be prepared for the future. The best way to be confident of the future is to own it. This is the semiconductor battle of the day. Samsung one of the well-known manufacturers, which wants to bring this shortage to an end.
Strategy, planning, new legal mandates, funding, collaborations and tie-ups are all being acted upon in different permutations and combinations by different companies and nation states. Undoubtedly, well thought out strategies and equally well executed projects will bear fruits. How much will it take is the Catch 22 situation? Predicting the timelines and the semiconductor required / market / industry fit it the challenge. Planning will make sense, if only that is sorted out. Nonetheless, the battle has to go on. Samsung owns some of the best foundries in the world. It manufactures all Snapdragon 8 Gen I chipsets, used in this year’s flagship Android phones as well as memory chips used in iPhones.
The ever-increasing demand with short supply, a pandemic legacy, has left advanced chips is short supply. It’s main competitor in the space, TSMC, has of late had manufacturing problems. Samsung announced several changes in its foundry business. It plans to introduce a 2 nm process in 2025, enabling more powerful and energy-efficient chips, followed by more advanced 1.4nm chips in 2027. Samsung is working on new designs with non-volatile memory (eNVM) ideal for cars, with 14nm eNVM products planned in 2024 and 8nm after that. Samsung aims to expand production capacity for advanced nodes by more than three times by 2027. The company is currently building a new fab in Taylor, Texas, in addition to already running fabs in South Korea and the US.
With all its credentials of manufacturing many of world’s advanced chips, TSMC has a leading edge as of now. Currently, TSMC produces chips of Apple (M1, M2 included) AMD’s processors, chips for Nvidia, AMD graphics, some intel hardware et al. Samsung has pinned its hopes on new processes and upgraded manufacturing that will be able to wean out some customers away from TSMC. This could help eliminate the current chip shortage. If this happens it would have the potential of bringing down prices for many electronics products. The challenge is how long will it take to see the results. No one has a tangible answer.
CHIPS SUPPLY OF EVERY TYPE REQUIRED IS A NECESSITY OF THE DAY, MAKING IT HAPPEN IS A MONUMENTAL CHALLENGE.