Shortage of Computer Chips Can Now Be Felt for Everyone
The chip shortage is still not solved. It is now causing problems worldwide. For most people, those chips are abacadabra, but if there is no longer an electric toothbrush, TV or car, the problem becomes a little more concrete for the average layman.
Computer chips are in almost all of our devices. For example, you cannot instruct a toothbrush to vibrate without a computer chip, and a car does not know to open the window. In other words, without chips, we went back to when we did almost everything manually.
That doesn’t just mean opening the window of your car or locking the door yourself. The average car now has dozens of chips. Even things like power or pulling power can depend on well-functioning software in your car.
The maintenance of your car has thus become comparable to the maintenance of your computer. You should occasionally update and clean those devices, preferably by a specialist, so that everything works faster and better again.
Because the average car mechanic, let alone a layman, has little appetite for the extremely specialized software knowledge that comes with it, an entire industry has even arisen that focuses on optimizing the software in your car. EQ Performance, for example, specialized in ‘chip tuning’, offers general chip tuning, but also offers specialized Audi chip tuning, BMW chip tuning and Mercedes chip tuning.
That ‘chip tuning’ will now become quite important because you can’t easily replace your car – especially the chips in it. The delivery time of a new car has risen considerably due to the chip shortage. How long you have to wait depends on the car you want, but BMW and Ford, for example, suffer from it. On the other hand, Kia or Toyota a lot less, Business Insider recently concluded after a short tour.
The shortage of chips is hitting the car industry hardest. According to the accounting firm KPMG, there is a total of 125 billion dollars in lost revenue because products cannot be delivered. The car industry accounts for eighty percent of that amount. And that while the car industry actually only covers ten percent of the chip market.
The chip shortage mainly affects the delivery time of cars has to do with the choices made at the start of the corona crisis. At the time, car manufacturers expected a decrease in the demand for new cars and therefore bought fewer chips. But the decline was not too bad and recovered quickly. Meanwhile, the demand for other electronics also exploded. So by the time car manufacturers wanted to order more, there was no longer a chip available.
Producing more chips is easier said than done. Building new factories takes time and a lot of money. Moreover, things have not been easy in Taiwan – a major supplier of our chips – lately. They faced delivery problems due to corona and the trade war between the US and China. In addition, it was scorched in Taiwan, while the manufacturer TSMC needs 156,000 tons of water daily to produce the chips. That water now has to be brought to the factory. Meanwhile, factories in Texas were shut down due to extreme cold, and fire hit one in Japan.
Experts disagree on how long the shortage will last. Expectations vary from six months to at least two years. But it will undoubtedly take some time. So tune in, the chips we already have. And be a little frugal with the TV.