There are still no signs that the chip shortage is abating. There was a hint of optimism in January when lead times decreased slightly, but they moved up again by three days on average to 26.2 weeks in February, according to data from Susquehanna Financial Group.
Opinion is divided about when the semiconductor scarcity might ease up. Most analysts expect the situation will start to improve this year, but estimates on when most problems are resolved range from H2 2022 to well into 2023. A TSMC executive recently said that it will take years because expanding wafer production capacity is a time-consuming operation.
There are concerns that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will exacerbate the shortage. Two Ukrainian companies responsible for supplying about half of the world’s semiconductor-grade neon gas have shuttered manufacturing facilities. According to Reuters, larger semiconductor firms have stockpiled enough raw materials to continue operations for a few months, but smaller companies may be hit harder.