Qualcomm Warning Shows Semiconductor Shortages Are Spreading, Says Struggling to Meet Chip Demand


Qualcomm, the world’s largest smartphone chipmaker, warned it is struggling to meet demand, signaling that a global semiconductor shortage is spreading.

“The shortage in the semiconductor industry is across the board,” said incoming Chief Executive Officer Cristiano Amon.

Like most chipmakers, Qualcomm outsources production to companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics. These suppliers are trying and so far failing to adjust to a vigorous rebound in demand. The auto sector has complained about this recently, but Qualcomm’s comments show the problems are broader.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck in early 2020, chip orders initially collapsed. But remote work and studying has spurred demand for computers, while car buying has surged as people avoid public transport. That, in turn, has caused auto and electronics makers to re-up their chip purchases.

Amon said orders for chips that run computers, cars and many other Internet-connected devices are swamping the industry, which mostly relies on just a handful of factories in Asia. Supply should improve in the second half of 2021, he added.

Qualcomm shares fell about 6 percent in extended trading. The stock closed at $162.30 (roughly Rs. 11,800) on Wednesday in New York, leaving it up 6.5 percent in 2021.

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