The reason why chips are always out of stock is that the process is getting smaller and smaller

IBM has announced a major breakthrough in chip manufacturing. It says it has created the world's first technology for making 2-nm chips that are 45 percent faster and 75 percent more energy efficient than 7-nm chips, and are smaller and faster than 5-nm chips. It will help speed up network connectivity and data processing, as well as improve the response time for autonomous vehicles to detect objects.

Both game consoles and laptops equipped with AMD processors are out of stock. Even Intel, which has a factory of its own, is a little tight in the supply of chips this year. What about other markets? Too hard time, car market, everyone knows, chip supply shortage, after all, the first is the auto industry, home appliance market, home appliances such as refrigerator air conditioning also usher in a wave of price increases, but the most let I wry smile can not, because of the price hike in upstream panel makers with chips are in short supply, the author from the buy, that the display of snatching up around 500, A real domino effect has already broken out, and there is no momentum to lower prices any time soon for anything related to semiconductors.

As is known to all, the chip is an extremely complex process, which can be roughly divided into high purity single crystal chip production - lithography - etching - vapor deposition and ion implanted - grinding cutting - testing - deliver user several stages, therefore, this round of the worldwide shortage of "chip", nature also want to in the process of chip production.

As luck would have it, Samsung and TSMC, two of the world's top contract chip manufacturers, are in a race to break the minimum nanometer of chip production from 2019. Of course, there is a detailed calculation behind it: Because chip is an industry with huge input but unstable output, the original production mode from design to production completed by one company gradually provides the design to the chip demander, and the OEM mode of third party takes orders to produce the production, OEM workers naturally want to make more money.

So for TSMC such enterprises, in order to ensure that can bring the most advantage in the production of chips as their, buy the printing machine and other advanced equipment, can be the largest used to control costs, nature will try their best to make more in the same size of silicon wafer chips, or increases in the same area size of silicon transistor density, In order to improve the effect and capability of the chip. As a result, the competition among foundry chip manufacturers has gradually shifted from Moore's law to "extreme nanometer competition".

In other words, the reduction of the chip manufacturing process is not only the competition between the various chip factories and the foundry, but also the important premise of the chip shortage, because at the time, I am afraid that no one thought that the epidemic would be so serious, nor that there would be a big problem in the material.

Yes, the wafers used to make chips have also had problems.

Manufacturers such as TSMC prefer to focus more on advanced 7-nm and 5-nm processes, which use 12-inch wafers, mainly to reduce costs. Before that, most foundry's most advanced production lines were 8-inch wafer production lines, used for power management, logic chips, such as home appliances, automotive and other industries, but for foundry, the profit margin was relatively low. Founders' desire to make money on 12-inch wafers has resulted in less capacity for 8-inch wafers needed by consumer electronics, industrial markets and auto makers, and thus the production of other components.

Because of 12 inches of semiconductor single crystal silicon, on the other hand, need to be improved technology and higher purity of monocrystalline silicon material, silicon materials plant in the home, however, to break through the technical difficulties and not many, and limited capacity, makes the silicon material supply, leading to the chip prices rise, according to the news of the China nonferrous metals industry association silicon industry branch, In March, the ex-factory price of domestic silicon material has risen to 100,000 yuan per ton, and the price rise of raw materials has finally affected the chip level.

And, of course, have to mention the new outbreak, the disease led to a surge in global demand for electronic products, but manufacturers of subsequent demand forecasting of epidemic diseases, conservative American sanctions against some domestic enterprises caused a large number of stock, for the whole chip industry chain, the duration is not short, other vendors also need a lot of stock up to fill the gap. Every company that uses chips in its products is panicking to buy to shore up its inventories, and a combination of factors has caused the chip industry to surge in demand and run at full capacity, with no spare capacity, and ultimately to eat into the chip market.

Permeate and semiconductor chips in this life time, it is expected this year's chip shortage may affect the price of is two or three years semiconductor products, electronic products, the price of basic was certain, on the other hand, although the U.S. government has complete political successor, but china-us relations is still full of uncertainty, the supply chain once disturbed, It will take some time to restore normalcy. The distribution pattern of the international supply chain, which has been established through 20 or 30 years of international cooperation and development, will eventually affect everyone if someone tries to adjust it forcibly.