The great hardware shortage of 2020 and beyond has taken its toll at all levels of the supply chain, but a new dawn could be in the works. An article from TheEdgeMarkets (opens in new tab) suggest that TSMC—the main chip manufacturer for the majority of top fabless hardware companies—now plans to invest $100bn over the next three years, in order to expand semiconductor manufacturing capacity and new tech research capabilities.
Best gaming mouse (opens in new tab): the top rodents for gaming
Best gaming keyboard (opens in new tab): your PC's best friend...
Best gaming headset (opens in new tab): don't ignore in-game audio
It's been a drawn-out battle on the hardware front over the past year, with even top companies like AMD and Nvidia being unable to meet the exponential rise in consumer demand during the pandemic. We've been watching the industry fight through the GDDR6 supply shortage (opens in new tab), exacerbated on the to sidestep the onslaught from cryptocurrency miners, and resellers using bots (opens in new tab) to buy up this recent generation of GPUs.
The resulting fallout from this whole palaver has seen pre-built PCs shipping without GPUs (opens in new tab), and a ridiculous back and forth regarding Nvidia's attempts to thwart cryptominers, by adding hash rate limiters to the RTX 3060 (and potential plans to implement more in the future)—spoiler alert: it didn't last long (opens in new tab).
If all that wasn't enough, a boatload of counties across Taiwan are currently on red alert, being bombarded by the worst drought in over half a century (opens in new tab). This means TSMC, and other Taiwan-based wafer manufacturers, are subject to yet more stresses that have the potential adverse effects on the supply chain.
Despite everything, the chip production industry seems to be blossoming. With GlobalFoundries doubling it's expansion fund (opens in new tab) for this year, and TSMC's plan to invest $100bn over the next few years, things are looking up. The semiconductor fabrication industry is going to bounce back, but its unclear how long it will take for the supply shortage to lift.
Hopefully, it'll ease over the next few months but it's likely to be a slow trickle, as opposed to a rush of hardware hitting the markets. Slow and steady, as they say.