The global chip shortage has been going on for entirety of 2021, keeping electronics in hot demand off store shelves, prices riding high, and scalpers making a living out of your desperation. While seemingly everything’s been affected to one degree or another, GPUs have been among the hardest hit, together with latest-generation consoles like the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. In the smartphone world, some phone companies have had to plan around this chip shortage in order to actually sell their devices, as CPU-daddy Qualcomm has been among those impacted. And while the situation seemed to have been getting better for a while, with GPU prices even going slightly down for a bit, now it all might be about to spiral back out of control.
That’s because TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co) reportedly told its customers about incoming chip production price hikes. According to DigiTimes (via: Tom’s Hardware), which cites sources among chip developers, TSMC expects to raise pricing for wafer processing using its 7nm and finer manufacturing techniques by as much as 10%, while prices for wafers produced using 16nm-class and thicker nodes will rise by 20% for orders due in December.
Why are prices going up? Because demand for chips is still riding high and the shortage has not yet been curbed. Chip demand has soared in recent quarters, forcing contract semiconductor manufacturers to ramp up production to meet customer demands. And this translates to less time for maintenance, which raises risks and accelerates equipment depreciation. As a result, these companies are raising their rates to cover their risks and costs.
The situation is not really expected to end until 2022 at the very least. Maybe it’s time to buy a new case and make sure your current phone lasts just a little longer?