Overall product lead times have reached an all-time high
High lead times are old news, but according to the December report from Susquehanna Financial Group (SFG), the average lead time is now 25.8 weeks – 10 weeks higher than the 2018 MLCC shortage when they had risen to unprecedented numbers. The 25.8 week high is due to a culmination of supply chain woes over almost two years that have impacted manufacturers, including factory shutdowns due to COVID-19, extreme weather conditions, geopolitical factors and more.
Simultaneously, logistics costs have risen 4-5 times above standard for the average supplier, contributing to spikes in various commodity pricing. Overall production costs have risen because operations in traditional lower-cost manufacturing regions have become unreliable, compelling customers to manufacture in higher-cost areas. Manufacturers are likely to continue to play catch up to meet the demand from customers in the 2022 year.
Anticipated demand of Qualcomm ICs leads to price increase
A rise in demand for Qualcomm products is predicted in Q1 as open market stock has been put under allocation for end customers. Consequently, open market pricing has increased significantly.
Affected series are expected to increase in price up to 21% in some cases. These series are primarily:
Mobile base stations
Base station controllers
Industrial automation and measurement
Bluetooth Audio SoC
Bluetooth portable speakers
Bluetooth Audio Platform
Capacitor manufacturing caught in geopolitical crosshairs
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), which was blacklisted by the US in 2020, faces additional sanctions by the US. This is expected to further inflame China-US relations in the ongoing trade war that has led to higher shipping and production costs due to tariffs.
Electronics affected by these additional sanctions will include mobile devices, video gaming consoles and automotive parts. Applied Materials Inc., KLA Corp. and Lam Research, which supply SMIC with parts needed for semiconductor builds, will feel the impact from the sanctions.
In addition to the hiccups suppliers are facing, capacitor production is also disrupted from the US-China trade clash. Particularly, manufacturers like TDK Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Vishay Intertechnology, Inc., and WIMA are facing challenges due to issues allocating materials for capacitor builds. The production delays have caused an increase in lead times. The general current standard lead times for film capacitors are:
TDK: up to 52 weeks
Vishay: up to 50 weeks
WIMA: up to 30 weeks
Panasonic: up to 26 weeks
Intel announces discontinuation of its Enpirion Power Solutions series
Intel’s discontinuation of the Enpirion Power Solution series has led to an increase in demand of power management devices in the market. These devices are used for FPGAs, SoCs, CPUs, ASICs and more. The notice states that the discontinuation of these products is due to its exit from the Enpirion power business. Additionally, customers are notified of key obsolescence dates as the parts are phased out of Intel’s IC product lineup.
Last orders accepted March 18, 2022
Last time shipments March 31, 2023
Onsemi MOSFETs critically short for 2022
Onsemi’s FDN series MOSFETs will reportedly be critically short in 2022, as delays in production have backlogged deliveries to 2023. In an attempt to meet demand, onsemi outsourced production to an Israeli facility but was unable to make headway due to insufficient production capacity. With the obstacles onsemi is facing in its output, overall lead times are now up to 90 weeks or more across the FDN series, NC7S series among others.
Adoption of Intel’s latest CPU causing desktop CPU pricing to fluctuate
Intel has reportedly increased supply for customers and distributors of the previously short 10th Gen Comet desktop CPUs. This is likely temporary as Intel’s primary goal is to accelerate the market adoption rate of its 12th Gen Alder Lake desktop. Availability is already tight for the highly anticipated 12th Gen Alder Lake desktop CPU, which consists of 6 SKUs - i9, i7 & i5.
IC shortage affects Intel’s server CPU market prices
Gating issues and IC component shortages are leading customers to increase server products usage, which in tandem pushes customers to the open market to secure the Cascade Lake and Cascade Lake Refresh series CPUs. Customers are primarily seeking the 42xx, 42xxR, 52xx, 52xxR, 62xx, and 62xxR series CPUs. This surge in demand has led to supply constraint for Cascade Lake and Cascade Lake Refresh series and led to open market pricing increases.
Supply chain disruptions impact DRAM, NAND and DIMM memory output
The Chinese city of Xi’an is under lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the region. Reuters reports state Samsung Electronics and Micron Technology have memory chip plants located in Xi’an and anticipate delays due to the government-mandated restrictions.
The restrictions will likely impact Micron’s DRAM memory chip output, which are widely used in datacenters. This disruption to Micron’s DRAM memory production comes simultaneously with its reported delays of DDR5 modules in the wake of shortages of components required for the build. The supply constraints of DDR5 memory modules is expected to persist through 2022 as lead times average at 35 week and demand exceeds supply.
Meanwhile, Samsung reported it will temporarily moderate its operations at its two manufacturing facilities in Xi’an for NAND flash memory chips. These chips are primarily used for data storage in datacenters, smartphones and other consumer electronics. Samsung’s Xi’an city factories account for 15.3% of all NAND production globally and is dependent on 42.3% capacity production from this location, meaning disruption may be detrimental to the market.
Intel SSD supply unlikely to improve
After limited supply over the last few months, Intel released supply of the S4510 240GB/480GB SSDs to OEM customers at the end of Q4 2021. This did not improve the buying activities in the open market as supply remained short and prices continued to increase for 480GB capacity and below.
Furthermore, Intel announced a price increase of 15-20% on all small capacity drives. For higher-end drives (models P4510, P5510, P4610), supply is also constrained but to a lesser degree than S4510 low cap drives. Asian distributors are not getting their expected allocations as most of the supply is going to tier one customers.
Nvidia’s new flagship GPU announced
Nvidia announced its new flagship GPU, the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, which will be the highest spec model among the GeForce family. Re-allocation to production of the new series may create supply strain of the previous model RTX 3080, 3080 and 3090.