Here we are, caught in this strange space where the materials and components used to make PC parts are basically gold dust. Where before the pandemic we took all this for granted, those of us trying to score any tech right now—particularly GPUs and CPUs—are faced with the harsh truth that the market just can't keep up with the increase in demand.
In searching for an end to this tragic state of PC building (opens in new tab), we've been looking around for statements from tech manufacturers, to get a handle on how long it's going to be before you can just buy a GPU or CPU, without having to fight for it.
We've had Nvidia spitballing that the GPU shortage would continue "for much of this year," (opens in new tab), and Intel and TSMC are even more pessimistic (opens in new tab), but now Acer has had it's say on semiconductor availability. Spoiler alert: it's not looking good.
In a talk with The Guardian (opens in new tab), Acer predicts the chip shortage will last at least until the first or second quarter of 2022. The company's co-chief operating officer, Tiffany Huang, laments "We have a severe shortage," noting "It will continue to be slow until the first quarter or second quarter of next year."
She goes on, "On any day I can only fill 50% of the worldwide demand."
Thanks to this shocking statistic, the company has decided to put work- and education-based devices at the forefront, over its gaming tech, because people "deserve a right to be able to continue their living and learning." There's a whole argument here about how games teach important life skills, and that some people's work is literally gaming, but I won't get into that here.
Gartner's senior principal analyst on semiconductors, Ben Lee, backed Acer's predictions, too. He's convinced the second quarter of 2022 is a more accurate forecast, and that we'll be seeing a lot of price hikes as a result.
"It means the customer has to pay more because there aren’t as many items," Lee notes.
Golly, did we really need an analyst to tell us that? We've already seen price increases, so just a heads-up to expect more as we shuffle into next year.