Semiconductor chips’ demands grew significantly during Covid and the silicon industry faced a massive difficulty to cope with the surge in demand for things powered by semiconductors. These include electronics, cars, and other gadgets that rely on silicon. In order to avoid same scenario in future, companies and governments across the world are pouring billions of dollars to manufacture semiconductor chips on their own. Unfortunately, the companies that produce chip-making equipment are now facing significant shortage.
If you’ve been following news, then you already know that companies like Intel, Samsun and even TSMC have unveiled their plans to accelerate semiconductor manufacturing in recent months. However, since the companies are now looking for equipment to produce these chips, it’s resulted in a shortage of chip-making equipment.
According to a recent report from Nikkei, chip tool manufacturers like ASML, Lam Research, Applied Materials, and KLA have warned their clients that they might have to wait for up to 18 months to receive critical equipment needed for semiconductor manufacturing.
This shortage has resulted from an unprecedented demand for chip-making tools starting from precision lenses, valves, pumps, special cables to sensors. For example, one EUV lithography machine which is made by ASML requires over 100,000 components from more than 800 global suppliers and costs up to $200 million.
In addition to ASML, another manufacturer KLA is also affected by the ongoing supply chain crisis. The company has revealed that the wait times for some its products are now more than 20 months. In addition to these two companies, world’s largest supplier of chip substrates, Unimicron has said that the equipment deliveries it desperately needs now have lead times of up to 30 months instead of 12-18 months estimated last year.