Despite shortages chip supplies have never been more abundant

Despite shortages chip supplies have never been more abundant

Market news |
Semiconductor component supply is set to rise by 13.4 percent in 2021 to an all-time record, according to market researcher IC Insights,
By Peter Clarke


This indicates that chip supply problems are due to high demand rather than low supply.

The 13.4 percent lift will lift shipments to a record level of 1.13 trillion, which includes optoelectronics, sensor/actuator, and discrete (O-S-D) devices as well as analog, mixed-signal, logic and memory components.

Semiconductor annual shipments from 1978 to 2021 (estimated) in billions of units. Source: IC Insights.

O-S-D devices are forecast to account for 67 percent of total semiconductor shipments compared to 33 percent for ICs. With 38 percent share, discrete devices are expected to account for the largest portion of semiconductor shipments followed by optoelectronics (26 percent), and analog IC devices (18 percent).  

Next: By product category

Product categories that are forecast to see some of the strongest unit growth in 2021 are components that target network and cloud computing systems, contactless (touchless) systems, automotive electronics including autonomous systems, and devices that are essential to the rollout of 5G technology applications.


Forecast shipments of semiconductors in 2021 by type. Source: IC Insights.

The 13 percent rise in the total would follow a 2.6 percent increase in 2020 after an unusual 6.7 percent fall in shipments in 2019. From 1978 to 2021 the compound annual growth rate is forecast to be 8.6 percent.

The largest annual percentage decline was 19 percent in 2001 following the dot-com bust. The global financial crisis and ensuing recession caused semiconductor shipments to fall in both 2008 and 2009; the only time there have been consecutive years of unit shipment declines.

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