One of many key commentaries in regards to the present semiconductor shortages is round the place precisely the bottlenecks are. The standard interpretation of a semiconductor scarcity implies that not sufficient silicon will be made, however over the previous few months various firms have pointed to post-silicon manufacturing, equivalent to testing and packaging, inflicting a number of the points. To the very best of our information, not one of the firms affected by the shortages are particularly pointing at companion firms or particular provide chain areas the place there’s a bottleneck, nonetheless there have been various feedback targeted within the path of packaging, substrates, and the specialist movies concerned for top efficiency compute.
AnandTech has realized that at its Accomplice Join 2021 occasion not too long ago, Intel Chief Income Officer Michelle Johnston Holthaus expanded the scale to which the provision chain is inflicting the semiconductor scarcity for Intel’s companions. Through the occasion Keynote, as a part of a deliberate Q&A session with the host John Kalvin (Intel GM of Scale and Accomplice Group), Holthaus expanded on the commentary surrounding Intel’s silicon move and the place the provision chain bottlenecks are for Intel and related companions.
Holthaus states that attributable to Intel’s funding over the past three years to extend silicon output on its vanguard course of applied sciences, it has doubled its silicon manufacturing, and persevering with to put money into that space of the enterprise. Nonetheless the trade has elevated in PC items by 33%-50% over the previous two years, and different ancillary ecosystem parts are actually in brief provide, together with substrates as beforehand talked about, however Holthaus additionally notes that Wi-Fi modules and show panels are additionally a part of that ecosystem limitation. The corporate has loads of silicon ready to be packaged apparently, however companions on the lookout for a whole set of parts for advanced machine integration are having extra problem,
As a part of the dialogue, Holthaus highlights Intel’s multi-decade method to working with its element ecosystem companions to drive quantity, nonetheless regardless of Intel rising its silicon volumes by such a big quantity, it could seem that the ecosystem companion funding was not of the identical order of magnitude.
Regardless of Intel being an built-in gadget producer (IDM, as CEO Pat Gelsinger is selling) and aiming for full vertical integration, very like TSMC and Samsung, Intel remains to be on the whim of elements of the provision chain it doesn’t management. Whereas Intel might have investments in these areas of the provision chain, they should be stepped up in step with the remainder of Intel’s enterprise. TSMC’s Chairman Mark Liu stated in a latest 60 Minutes section relating to the present semiconductor scarcity that the timescales for these investments are longer than folks realise – presently TSMC can meet the minimal requirement for its clients, however shortages will final for 6-9 months for automotive, for instance.
Intel this week introduced a $3.5 Billion USD funding in its 3D packaging applied sciences in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Nonetheless this manufacturing line is for future applied sciences and isn’t anticipated to be operational till late 2022.
The total feedback by Intel CRO Michelle Johnston Holthaus have been transcribed beneath.
Provide has been a subject since 2019, actually because the finish of 2018. Intel continues to extend our capability by two fold over these years. We’re persevering with to construct an increasing number of, amd we’re persevering with to extend our investments in CapEx as you heard Pat speak about. The true factor right here is that demand continues to be sturdy and with COVID and the pandemic it has gotten even stronger.
We’ve seen that the PC has grow to be important to the way in which folks work and work together each day. We don’t see that altering. We’re as much as over one million PCs being shipped a day. That’s huge TAM development when you concentrate on the place we had been in 2018 to the place we are actually, we’re now up 75-100m items in TAM in a really quick period of time. The excellent news is that with our investments at Intel and our will increase in capability, we will construct the die to have the ability to provide nicely over market demand.
However what we’re now seeing is that there are new trade and ecosystem challenges the place the remainder of the element ecosystem can’t sustain. Whether or not it’s Wi-Fi parts, substrates, panels, these are actually form of the bottleneck to the following stage of explosive development. So that you would possibly be capable to discover a CPU, however you could not be capable to discover a panel, or a battery, or another element to truly be capable to end that package.
We have now lots have silicon dies and I need everybody to know that these investments are completely paying off, and now we’ve got acquired to go work on all of the ecosystem items. We perceive these shortages trigger loads of stress and loads of frustration and we’re doing all the pieces we will to maximise our combine, our output, in order that our clients and companions can ship what they’ve dedicated to their shareholders and companions. Pat is 100% dedicated to persevering with to take a position.
High picture is of a wafer throughout Intel’s ninth Gen Launch occasion.