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While the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted demand for many electronic products, it has created a global chip shortage and countless logistics nightmares. Let's take a look.
Covid-19 has complicated the electronics business. On one hand, the pandemic has boosted demand for a wide variety of electronic products and solutions. On the other hand, it has created a global chip shortage and countless logistics nightmares. It can be hard to make sense of it all. This week, we report on both some positives and negatives. We also highlight some of the trending content at ElektorMagazine.com.
The Apple Silicon Story Continues
Ever since Apple unveiled its first chip, the M1, in November 2020, many of us have been wondering: What sort of difference — in terms of performance (and sales, of course) — will the M1 chip make? And, of course, we’ve also been wondering, what might come next? Based on Q1 2021 numbers, it is clear that customers are excited about Apple’s approach. In fact, according to IDC, the company’s Q1 2021 market share increased 8%. As for an M2 chip? Rumors abound, and some news outlets are reporting a possible release during the summer. We’ll have to wait and see. Stay tuned.
Q1 Semiconductor Sales Up 3.6%
Global semiconductor sales in Q1 2021 as sales hit $123.1 billion, which was a 3.6% increase over the previous quarter, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reports. And it was a 17.8% increase over Q1 2020. You might recall that, in March, we reported that the growing demand for Internet-connected end products, 5G chips, and automotive chips seemed to be driving foundry revenue growth. And as a result, revenue at top global foundries should jump 20% year-over-year (YoY) in Q1 2021.
The Global Chip Shortage
The “global chip shortage” has been a headline for several days now. But can we take a step back and draw any conclusions? Yes. It’s clear that Covid-19 has created countless challenges for the industry. Manufacturing shutdowns over the past year have created production delays and stock issues. At the same time, we’ve seen an increase in demand during the pandemic for a wide variety of electronic products and electronic solutions, from mobile computing devices to automotive electronics. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins recently told the BCC that he anticipates the shortage to continue another six months. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger recently told the Washington Post the shortage could last much longer. So what should be believe? It’s hard to say at this point, but we should have a better idea of the global chip situation by late May, early June.
Trending Elektor Content
The following articles are trending on the Elektor Magazine website. Be sure to check them out!
What Is RISC-V?
- What is RISC-V, and why is it gaining in popularity? We dive into the "free and open" ISA and explain what the technology is all about.
Circuit Shorts: The Curious Case of CD4060
- The 4000-series of CMOS logic devices has more than 150 members. We take a look at the curious case of the CD4060.
Raspberry Pi Pico Gets Arduino Support
- If you are interested in the Raspberry Pi Pico and Arduino, here’s some good news. Arduino support for the Raspberry Pi Pico has finally arrived.
Updates on the Global Chip Shortage, Apple Silicon, and More
Subscribe to Elektor’s weekly Electronics News Byte tag for details about chip industry news, electronics-related events, and more. And be sure to sign up for Elektor’s E-Zine to receive new DIY electronics projects, interviews, and detailed engineering tutorials.
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