Since 2021, the shortage of chips has seriously disrupted the market, and the production of smartphones and automotive electronics has been greatly affected. The world's major chip manufacturers are also accelerating investment and adding new factories. It is expected that it will take a certain amount of time to start production.
However, judging from the trend of the past two months, the shortage of chips seems to have passed. Although the overall situation has eased, this does not mean that "chip shortages" no longer exist.
The price of consumer electronics chips has fallen and demand has slowed down, but the automotive, HPC and other fields are still facing the dilemma of lack of cores. The main reason is that the replacement cycle for new mobile phones has become longer, and the global economy and consumption power have changed after the epidemic, and consumers have reduced their demand for consumer electronic products.
At present, the chip market is changing from a structural shortage to a partial or specific field shortage.
Today, the chip industry is in a state of ice and fire, with price cuts and shortages at the same time.
The demand for mobile chips has slowed down, and some areas are still lacking chips.
It seems that the status quo of "lack of cores" has been reversed, but there are still shortages of chips in some areas.
The price of consumer electronics chips has plummeted, and there has been a "order cut".
Affected by the local epidemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the demand in the consumer electronics market has decreased. The supply chain and terminal manufacturers that are actively stocking up will face huge inventory pressure and have to reduce production due to too many chips produced in the early stage. "Chopping orders" first occurred in the field of consumer electronics, and the field of consumer electronics was the first to adjust the price of chips, especially graphics cards, smartphones and other products. Graphics cards that have been unaffordable and unaffordable before, as the "mining tide" receded and Bitcoin plummeted, market demand slowed down, and prices fell sharply. Secondly, the market demand for smartphones and PCs is also slowing down, and it is predicted that the global smartphone market shipments will decline by 3% year-on-year in 2022.
The phenomenon of "order cutting" has gradually spread from consumer electronics terminals to chip manufacturers. Orders for driver ICs, MCUs, SoCs, etc. continued to decline, and some foundries even began to cancel production expansion plans, pressing the pause button for capacity expansion.
Compared with the slowdown of mobile chips, the supply of automotive chips is in short supply, and it is still in the predicament of lack of cores.
The reason why the chip market is polarized is that consumer electronic chips are more profitable for chip manufacturers, and chip manufacturers are less willing to expand production of automotive chips, so there has been such a shortage of automotive chips in the past two years. However, as demand for consumer electronics declines, the capacity of semiconductor foundries should be tilted towards automotive chips.
Secondly, automotive-grade chips have more stringent parameter requirements than consumer-grade chips, and the cycle from design to mass production is longer. For example, the chip design cycle of a vehicle-grade MCU is about 18 to 24 months, and then 12 to 18 months of vehicle-grade certification system development and 24 to 36 months of model introduction and test verification are required.
Today, the industrialization and intelligence of new energy vehicles are still in a period of explosive growth, and the market demand continues to grow. There are many types of automotive chips required for new energy vehicles, and automotive semiconductor manufacturers cannot expand the supply.
In particular, there is a shortage of automotive-grade chips with a relatively high degree of automatic driving. The mid-to-high-end chip market is mainly monopolized by foreign manufacturers. Once there is a shortage of automotive chips, the price will rise. Facing supply pressure, foreign manufacturers are brewing. price.
At present, it seems that the pattern of "ice and fire" in the chip industry may still last for a long time, but it will not last forever.
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