Limited investment in mature process technologies is one reason the semiconductor shortages haven’t abated yet, according to IDC. The market intelligence firm estimates that 67 percent of semiconductors were manufactured at mature process nodes in 2021, defined as 40nm and above. These LCD drivers, power management and automotive ICs, to name a few, tend to be less profitable than leading-edge ICs, which explains why semiconductor capital spending tends to focus on the latter, says IDC.
IDC expects tight semiconductor supply to continue through the first half of 2022 as the industry builds up inventory to normal levels. “Demand remains robust across most system markets, but inventory levels by the middle of the year and slower economic activity in the second half could be what ultimately eases the constraints,” comments Mario Morales of IDC.
“OSAT and material shortages are the new challenges for the semiconductor supply chain, which will require investment over the next couple of years, especially as the ongoing trend toward systems in package accelerates,” Morales adds.