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ARM boss worries about chip supply

by on08 November 2021

Worst I have ever seen

Arm CEO Simon Segars told the assembled throngs at the Web Summit in Lisbon that the chip-supply crisis was the worst he'd ever seen.

He said that that  most important thing to do to get out of the woods in this situation and minimise similar ones in the future.

Doing that involves improving collaboration between ecosystem players.

"We need better collaboration across all players in the supply chain. So, make sure we understand the bottlenecks and build resilience into this supply chain in a steady state that works okay. But when you get an event, and the pandemic was a Black Swan event, like no other, it froze things off the hillside, and it's tough to recover."

Segars is optimistic that current and future investments would ease the supply chain in the short term, but he is also cautious about not creating huge expectations.

"About $2 billion a week is going to be spent for the next couple of years to add capacity and build new facilities. And that's going to add about half of the additional capacity over the next five years."

Segars predicted next year's Christmas might be much better, but that consumers might still consider starting shopping early. And prices might not come down for a while. What is essential, Segars said, is to be patient, collaborate, and invest.

He said it was important to think about where we are going to be next Christmas rather than this one as he expects chain constraints to be a little better, but they won't be completely fixed because this isn't a short-term problem with a short-term solution.

“Billions of dollars are going to need to be spent in the coming years. And the decisions that we make today are going to affect the supply of this life, critical materials, semiconductors, over the next decade,” he said.

Segars also pointed out that it's hard to expand wafer production because so many different chemicals are involved. "I mean virtually the whole periodic table that is used in making semiconductors. So it would help if you had industrial style, pure chemicals to feed into these factories downstream. So you need much more than just a chip factory to address these supply chain issues."


Last modified on 08 November 2021
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