Gadget Shortages Could Last Till 2023

John Lister's picture

Intel says a shortage of computer chips could last until 2023. It's particularly bad news for video game players but could make it harder to buy affordable PCs.

Pat Gelsinger, Intel's CEO, says the shortage is likely at its worst point now. He says the situation should improve throughout next year, mirroring his counterpart at AMD who believes supply should pick up in the second half of next year.

However, Gelsinger believes it will be 2023 before production is back at a point where supply can meet demand. (Source:

Shutdown Means Slowdown

The shortage is largely a result of the pandemic, with factory shutdowns causing a delay that had knock-on effects on the entire supply chain. It's been particularly problematic as the chips (also called semiconductors) are used for a wide variety of devices.

The problem has been worst with games consoles and specialist graphics processors in PCs because the supply problems coincided with an increased demand when people either forced to work from home or temporarily stood down from work looked for ways to entertain themselves.

However, other devices including new desktop and laptop computers have been hit, with the potential for delays, higher prices or both. There's even been a shift to more used car sales because so many modern vehicles have in-built computer-like devices, leaving them stuck on production lines.

Weather And Politics Also Problematic

The pandemic isn't the only cause: instead it's one of a series of problems upsetting the delicately balanced processor market. A US ban on some businesses supplying Chinese tech giant Huawei led to the company sourcing chips from other countries, affecting regional demand.

Two major chip factories, in the US and Japan, were hit by severe weather and fire respectively. And even once chips are complete, unforeseen changes in consumer demand driven by the pandemic have led to severe international shipping delays. (Source:

Experts believe the market should eventually correct itself, with higher costs eventually driving more investment in chip production facilities outside of Asia to supply local manufacturing.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you found it harder or more expensive to buy computers and gadgets recently? Should governments intervene so that certain industries get priority access to buy processors? Is it a bad thing if people have to learn to live without new gadgets for a while?

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