There is a shortage of microchips in various sectors of the economy.
Experts are concerned: this could threaten the shutdown of many industries, such as cars, household appliances, computers and other modern gadgets.
CAUSES OF DEFICIENCY
The plant of the largest chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has cut production due to a drought in Taiwan – the water supply has decreased, and the production of chips turned out to require a lot of water.
Then there was a fire in Japan at the Renesas Electronics silicon board processor plant, which destroyed all equipment.
Freezing temperatures in Texas led to power outages at factories, shutting down factories Samsung Electronics, NXP Semiconductors and Infineon.
This is how climatic and technogenic conditions influenced the work in the field of microelectronics. And there was also a pandemic, the planet switched to remote control, the growth in demand for high-performance computers also provoked a shortage of chips. As a result, the global consumption of microcircuits in 2020 increased by 30%.
Why is the resulting deficit dangerous? A microchip is not just a piece like a screw and nut. They cannot be made quickly in huge quantities. Microchips are grown as if it were a living organism! The crystal must grow, one must wait for the semiconductors to mature. In general, this is not just production, but a whole science.
CARS AND ELECTRONICS DARKLY RISE IN PRICE
Chips are used everywhere. One can help light up the screen of a phone or monitor, the other makes a refrigerator or an airplane work. Following the auto industry, the market for computers and smartphones has already begun to sink, and problems have arisen in the market for household appliances. Due to the shortage of chips, video cards have risen in price, and these are the key components of any computer. Many models have grown in price several times, and even with such prices, the stocks of the largest retailers are already at zero.
You and I must understand: the production of practically all modern technical means in which chips are used is decreasing. That is, an ordinary iron – please, but one that can regulate the temperature and give the owner a signal that it is overheated will be very difficult to acquire. And this means that all, absolutely all new equipment will rise in price.
At the same time, until recently, it was said that the crisis would be overcome by mid-2022. But, as it turned out, the problem is much more serious. As it became known, the situation will improve no earlier than in the summer of 2023, which means that high-quality cars and smartphones may simply become inaccessible to ordinary citizens.
In the same automotive industry, chips are used almost everywhere: in starting systems, braking systems, in multimedia, in all control systems. It is estimated that the factories will produce 9 million fewer cars this year. Production fell the most in Europe, slightly less in China and the United States. Some car companies can go broke altogether.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO HOLD THE MARKET?
Who benefits from the situation and who can suffer? More than 80% of the world’s microcircuits are manufactured in Asia. The Taiwanese company TSMC holds 54% of the market. Chips are also made by Samsung (South Korea) – 17%, SK Hynix (South Korea) – 9%, Japanese Kioxia occupies 7.7% of the market.
The American company Micron Technology produces 9.3% of the global chip market. China wants to expand in this area and become one of the three leaders in the production of microchips. But America does not want this: the United States has already begun to prohibit the supply of Chinese chips, and is also trying to close the access of Chinese companies to new equipment and chemical reagents. So the trade battle between the US and China could lead to even greater chip shortages.
In order not to depend on the Southeast Asian market, a number of countries have already announced the construction of new semiconductor factories.
WHAT IS IN RUSSIA?
The import of microelectronics to Russia is constantly growing, it is estimated at over 1 billion dollars, while the volume of the domestic market for civilian microelectronics is estimated at just over 120 billion rubles.
At one time, we had a serious growth in microelectronics. For example, there are such successful developments in the field of microprocessors as the Elbrus and Baikal processors. But all the same, to produce them, you have to use the work of Taiwanese factories. Although there is an opinion that in Russia one can expect literally an explosion in the growth of this industry. According to the calculations of the Strategy for the Development of the Electronic Industry of Russia until 2030, approved in 2020, the revenue of this sector by 2030 may triple – up to 5.2 trillion rubles.
Russia must get rid of the position of a digital colony. “You need to have your own development of kernels. If it does exist, Russia will be able to build its own branch of microelectronics … Otherwise, we will be left behind forever, ”says Aleksey Anpilogov, head of the Osnovanie Historical Research Foundation.
This year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to allocate just over 11 billion rubles to several Russian electronics manufacturers. Our industry already provides the banking sector and the defense complex with chips, which means that there are prospects. And the Russian companies Angstrem and Mikron are already among the most powerful Eastern European manufacturers of these products.
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