Market shortage of screen components and devaluation of the pound is driving screen prices up.
LCD panel makers have seen orders picking up, in turn boosting their demand for driver ICs. But supply of LCD driver ICs has fallen far short of demand, prompting vendors to consider raising prices. Many other components are also in short supply, including networking chips. Some networking chip vendors, such as Broadcom, have had to extend their delivery lead times. At TSMC, its foundry services are expected to see strong demand from 5G, HPC and automotive sectors during second-quarter 2021.
LCD driver IC supply falling short of demand by over 20%: The supply of LCD driver ICs has fallen short of demand by more than 20%, prompting Taiwan-based suppliers to consider price hikes, according to industry sources.
Taiwanese panel supplier Innolux Corp. says the current chip shortages could last beyond this year, becoming the latest manufacturer to warn that competition for semiconductors may persist for some time.
“Supply at foundries is very tight. Capacity in the chip packaging and testing space is also tight,” James Yang, president of the Foxconn affiliate, told analysts at an earnings conference on Wednesday. “The chip supply bottleneck could still remain unresolved in the first half of 2022.”
Some chip packaging equipment now takes 11 months to ship, Yang said. Chipmakers aren’t expanding capacity for 8-inch wafers needed for power management chips and display driver integrated circuits, he added. Automakers and 5G smartphones both need power management chips so the overall supply is getting even tighter, the executive said.
Chip shortages are expected to wipe out $61 billion of sales for automakers alone and delay the production of a million vehicles in the March quarter, but the fallout now threatens to hit the much larger electronics industry. Possibly a broad spectrum of chip-heavy products from cars to phones and gaming consoles could see shortages or price hikes.
About 3% to 5% of total panel supply could suffer shipment delays, though the impact on Innolux so far has been slight, Yang said. Panel demand will outpace supply this year, he added.
Value of the Pound and Dollar
We trade with China using USD. Recently with the UK and US governments economic policies of printing large volumes of currency to "kick the can down the road" with the coming depression, we've seen the value of our currency watered down dramatically.
This devaluation coupled with inflation has mean these currencies have lost a large amount of their value and will continue to do so with the Government's quantitive easing schemes which look likely to carry on throughout 2021.