Appliances are also suffering from the chip famine

Appliances are also suffering from the chip famine

Chips continue to be in short supply and now even the most common household appliances could be affected. The United States and Europe want to run for cover

(Photo: Anton NovoderezhkinTASS via Getty Images) Refrigerators, washing machines and microwave ovens risk being involved in the global crisis of semiconductors, which make up the electronic parts of household appliances. Whirlpool received 10% fewer chips in China in March, a local representative of the American multinational told Reuters during the Expo dedicated to household appliances in Shanghai. The company has struggled to secure microcontrollers, simple processors that power more than half of its products, but the shortage of semiconductors has also been denounced by other companies such as China's Robam and Sichuan Changhong Electric.

The fear is that the chip famine, with the tight profit margins, the long life cycles of white goods and the stalled real estate market, will drive up the prices of the appliances. The crisis in those components has become clear in recent months, as car manufacturers have seen chip lead times extend from 12 to over 22 weeks, Bloomberg reports.

General Motors, Ford, Nissan and Stellantis slowed or suspended production, while Volkswagen and Porsche pointed to disorganization and poor supply chain planning, caused by a high demand for home electronic devices (such as video game consoles), which in the global lockdown caused an increase in 5.4% chip demand.

Apple, which spends $ 58 billion a year on semiconductors, has postponed the launch of its iPhone 12 by two months, and apparently Samsung will have to do the same for the next Galaxy Note, despite the South Korean company sell $ 56 billion in "homemade" chips, recalls the Guardian (17% of global production). The situation is exacerbated by the announcements of the former president of the United States, Donald Trump who has included in the entity list the Chinese Smic (6% global), a Chinese company that tries to break the circle by producing less refined semiconductors (28 nanometers) for automotive industry.

The epicenter in Taiwan

The sector is also affected by a huge bottleneck: 63% of the world's semiconductors are produced in Taiwan, according to a TrendForce analysis. A good 54% is in the hands of Tsmc alone, whose 25% of the business is connected to Apple. In addition, Tsmc works as a "foundry" for American companies that only design chips, such as Broadcom, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Amd or Texas Instruments. Thus, if 91% of world production is based in Asia, in the United States there are four new factories on the launch pad, three in Arizona (one by Tsmc and two by Intel, for 20 billion dollars) and one in Texas ( Samsung). Other players on the scene are Globalfoudries, based in California but controlled by an Abu Dhabi financial and United Microelectronics (Taiwan), both with 7%.

In this scenario, US President Joe Biden intends to allocate 50 billions of dollars in funding to the sector, as part of its 2 trillion billion infrastructure plan, with the aim of also building a national research center in this type of technology. On the other hand, the European Union has also recently approved the Digital Compass program, to achieve the production of one fifth of all semiconductors in the world by 2030.

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Cars China Europe Joe Biden electric mobility Smart home Smartphones United States globalData. fldTopic = "Auto, China, Europe, Joe Biden, electric mobility, Smart home, Smartphone, United States"

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