About a week or so ago, speaking at the Computex 2021 virtual event, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger cast doom and gloom for the chip industry when he said that the current global silicon shortage is expected to last years. While the shortage of chips is certainly very prevalent, not everyone it seems is on board with Gelsinger's forecast. Andrew Tilton, Chief Asia economist at Goldman Sachs, believes we are already "in the worst period of that right now" and that means things will only get better for the industry as we move into the second half of the year.
Gelsinger pointed out how supply chains are struggling to meet the excessively high demand for smartphones, laptops, notebooks, and such, due to the massive shift to working and studying from homes in the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Tilton did acknowledge the supply chain crisis but he was quick to add that there's a “noticeable tightening” of supply chains and shipment delays in Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea and we know a lot of the chipmakers, like TSMC, are based in this belt.
However, Andrew Tilton is still cautious on the matter as problems outside the pandemic have also started popping their heads recently. For example, Taiwan is currently facing a major drought, one of the worst in many many years, which is affecting chip designing as semiconductor fabs tend to rely on plentiful water supply.