Tech sales across the world are booming, and supply has been struggling to keep up. It's no secret. We've seen prebuilt PCs shipping without GPUs (opens in new tab), watched the world's leading semiconductor manufacturer TSMC battle with 'red alert' drought levels (opens in new tab) across Taiwan, and witnessed manufacturers trying every which way possible to ease the great GPU shortage (opens in new tab).
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It's been a fracas to say the least. But according to Acer representatives, we could see the shortages easing by the second half of 2021.
In an interview with Taipei reporters (via Reuters (opens in new tab)) , Andrew Hou, Acer’s president for Pan-Asia Pacific Operations, noted that problems became apparent around the end of last year. He explains that, since then, supply workers have “jumped into action” but admits he expected this quick action to have yielded more positive results by the second quarter of this year, compared to the first.
The way things are going though, Hou is convinced the second half of the year will see much improvement in the way of supply.
This is following comments from Acer's Chairman and CEO Jason Chen, who told reporters (via NikkeiAsia (opens in new tab)) "We feel growing pressure because of the component shortages, and our staff are working with additional efforts to chase all the components needed every day." But despite the struggle, Chen notes this situation is a "happy problem" for Acer.
Manufacturers may not be able to keep up with demand, but that doesn't mean they've gone bust—quite the opposite in fact. According to IDC statistics, Acer's shipments grew by a substantial 23 percent last year, and that number is only expected to grow.
To keep up with the expectedly steady increase in demand, chipmaking leader TSMC now plans to invest $100 billion (opens in new tab) in semiconductor production capacity over the next few years. And the trend is rippling throughout the industry, with GlobalFoundries putting down $1.5 billion (opens in new tab) to further expand it's wafer capacity.
With big money like this flying around, it's no wonder Hou has a positive outlook for the future. You can bet manufacturers have learned from the shortages and are taking steps to ensure this kind of supply shortage never darkens our shelves again.