Electronic Shortages Bad & Getting Worse

For weeks and months, it’s been a buyer’s nightmare: all sorts of electronic parts are on allocation and prices are on the rise. Everything from capacitors to hard disk drives is in short supply. There’s no end in sight.  

The recently released Fusion Worldwide’s Greensheet traces some of the trends and there is little good news to be found.


Multilayered ceramic chip capacitors (MLCCs), a basic staple in many electronic products especially in the telecommunication and automotive markets, are in short supply. That’s a reality that is pushing pricing. The Greensheet explained:

The cost of MLCCs continues to rise and there is a growing consensus that the high prices will remain long after the shortage ends. Passive component makers have long felt that their prices have been too low and undervalued relative to the manufacturing cost.  The rising labor costs in China and the stricter environmental control restrictions will cause prices to rise further, while preventing them from reducing to pre-2016 costs even after the shortage has ended. 

Even as component makers are rushing to get more capacity online with new factories focusing on these high-demand passives. However, for MLCCs limitations on materials and production equipment as well as demanding technology hurdles, makes it unlikely that these passives will be part of the shift. However, a number of suppliers are moving their capacity capabilities away from larger case size legacy products to increase volume on smaller case size technology. These shifts take time, though, so capacity likely won’t bounce back any time in the near future.

Other integrated circuits

Currently, lead times on diodes are stretching out across the board. “For example, current lead times are around 30 weeks for TVS Diodes, 24-36 weeks for Schottky diodes and 30 to 40 weeks for Zener diodes,” the Greensheet said. “In comparison, last year around this time, lead times for TVS diodes were at 20 weeks, and small signal diodes and rectifiers were around 18 to 25 weeks. “

Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) prices are likely to also be forced up by increased demand, with increases of 10% to 25% across the market. These shifts can be traced to increased demand from the automotive market as well as a limited supply of silicon wafers and other raw materials needed to produce power MOSFETs “Most industry professionals are estimating that parts won’t be back in regular supply until 2020,” the Greensheet explained.

CPU & memory

Shortages of central processing unit (CPU) chips is ubiquitous, with rising demand combining with supply limitations to create a pinch. “Virtually all segments including Xeons, desktop, mobile and chipsets are facing varying degrees of turbulence,” the Greensheet said. “The strongest number of PC shipments in years have pinched supply availabilities across all client segments.”

DRAMs offer a glimmer of hope, as current demand is currently in pace with supply. At the same time, pricing is also likely to rise again this year although not substantially. In July, market pricing increased higher than last month at about three to five percent, the report said.

The infographic below outlines the trends in these markets. Take a look and let us know how they compare to your experiences in the comments section below. 

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

2 comments on “Electronic Shortages Bad & Getting Worse

  1. LesBlevins
    August 24, 2018

    It appears that it may be time for backup power generation systems large and small to opt for technology that is capable of manual control as well as computer control. In many businesses, risks and costs are of paramount concern. At a hospital for example, loss of electricity can lead to loss of life. So for hospitals, reliable electricity has a very high value. That makes hospitals candidates for the installation of clean energy microgrids. That was brought home in 2013 after the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. Area hospitals were pushed to their limits, and that changed the perspective of many administrators. One area hospital was contemplating the installation of a CHP plant as part of a new facility. Typically, the decision to move forward with such a project would be heavily weighted on the economic benefit. But after the attack, this particular hospital “saw things in a whole different light,” said Michael Bakas, senior vice president at Ameresco. Economics were no longer the primary driving force. Instead, the first concern was the ability to act as a last line of defense for the city in a crisis. The hospital could not lose its power; it had to be able to “island” or operate independently from the surrounding grid should disaster strike. Unfortunately, that is a lesson that has been driven home several times in recent years—whether it is the Boston terrorist attack, the record flooding in Houston from Hurricane Harvey, the devastation in Florida from Hurricane Irma, the destruction of Puerto Rico's grid from Hurricane Maria, or the near shut-down of New York City from Hurricane Sandy. Hospital administrators have had ample chance to gain firsthand experience of the importance of uninterrupted electrical service.   The above is the opinion of Les Blevins, President of Advanced Alternative Energy in Lawrence Kansas

  2. Anjana
    August 25, 2018

    Electronics component shortages are now so excessive that a few oems trust their increase for 2018 will be stymied if they may be not able to get components.Among morey's customers are fundamental car organizations – a marketplace wherein demand for all things digital has exploded.   GST Registration   The car market isn't developing at unmanageable charges, whittier said, however the electronics in motors are.It's very helping post and I would like to say that your writing is so unique and useful for us.Thanks for sharing with us.  

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