ARM CEO says chip shortage means devices need to be ordered now to arrive by Christmas

ARM CEO says chip shortage means devices need to be ordered now to arrive by Christmas
ARM Holdings, the chip architecture company owned by Softbank, is warning consumers that due to the chip shortage if they have not yet ordered their devices, they might not have them in time for Christmas. The BBC News (via AppleInsider) reports that ARM CEO Simon Segars says that the mismatch between supply and demand in the chip industry is "the most extreme" that he can remember.

ARM CEO says that you might be out of luck if you haven't already ordered the devices you need before Christmas

For example, Segars says that in some cases it has taken 60 weeks for chips that were ordered to arrive. And to make matters worse, the executive says that the "crisis" won't be totally fixed in time for Christmas 2022. During the Web Summit event in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, Segars said, "If you haven't bought all your devices yet, you might be disappointed. It has never been like this before."

With just a bit over 50 days remaining until Christmas, time is running out for gift givers to purchase some devices. Some iPhone 13 Pro models won't arrive until December, and the Google 6 Pro is getting hardf to find.

Segars blames the chip shortage on several factors related to the pandemic. He said that there was an unprecedented demand for devices as people looked to buy devices to help them communicate with their loved ones during lockdowns.

Tablets, in particular, enjoyed a renaissance thanks to companies that allowed workers to do their jobs from home. Children who were forced to engage in distance learning used their tablets to attend virtual classes, and at the end of the day, both kids and adults used their tablets to play video games; stream music, movies, and television shows; and more.

And as we've mentioned before, surprising demand for automobiles left automakers short of the chips that they needed forcing them to replenish their inventories in huge amounts. The U.S.-China trade war also was a factor as was the demand for 5G chips; some manufacturers stockpiled chips in fear that they might be sanctioned by the U.S. as the country did with Huawei.

The CEO said that across the chip industry, $2 billion per week is being spent to build more capacity, but he says that "just building factories" is not enough. Calling the process "complicated and expensive, " Segars said that better collaboration is needed across the whole supply chain.

Graphics firm Nvidia has offered to buy ARM for a whopping $40 billion in a deal that still requires regulatory approval. Such a deal would end Nvidia's licensing payments for the use of ARM's architecture for its CPUs. It also would allow Nvidia to design ARM-based chips internally.

Nvidia's $40 billion purchase of ARM is being held up by an investigation by the European Commission

The transaction is currently being held up by an investigation by a European Competition investigation. The fear is that if the deal is allowed to go through, Nvidia might prevent other chipmakers from using ARM's technology which is widely used among chip designers. And ownership of ARM's 6,000+ team of engineers would certainly be a positive for Nvidia

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Another theory, devised by The Wall Street Journal's Christopher Mims is called Huang's Law after Nvidia Corp. chief executive and co-founder Jensen Huang. Huang's Law says that chips that focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) double in performance every other year. GPU chips, like the kind Nvidia makes, can handle some tasks, including some AI related ones, faster while using less power.

And as AI moves from the cloud to more on-device use (think the Google Tensor chipset that powers the new Pixel 6 line), ARM is one of the leaders in supplying the necessary components.

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