Talking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Arm CEO Simon Segars said this chip-supply crisis was the worst he’d ever seen (according to an EE Times article shared by Slashdot reader dkatana):

The most important thing to do to get out of the woods in this situation and minimize similar ones in the future, he argued, is to improve collaboration between all players in the ecosystem. “We need better collaboration across all players in the supply chain. So, make sure we understand the bottlenecks and build resilience into this supply chain in a steady state that works okay. But when you get an event and obviously the pandemic was a Black Swan event, like no other, it froze things off the hillside, and it’s very hard to recover.”

Segars is optimistic that current and future investments would ease the supply chain in the short term, but he is also cautious about not creating huge expectations. “About $2 billion a week is going to be spent for the next couple of years to add capacity and build new facilities. And that’s going to add about 50 percent additional capacity over the next five years….”

Segars predicted next year’s Christmas might be much better for gift givers, but that consumers might still consider starting shopping early. And prices might not come down for a while. What is essential, Segars said, is to be patient, collaborate and invest. “Where are we going to be next Christmas? I expect these supply chain constraints to be a little better, but [they] won’t be completely fixed because this isn’t a short-term problem with a short-term solution. Billions of dollars are going to need to be spent in the coming years. And the decisions that we make today are going to affect the supply of this life, critical materials, semiconductors, over the next decade.

“Will we get this right? Will we spend enough? We spent too much, but we accidentally break the industries? That remains to be seen. That is the challenge that the industry is stepping up to” he added. “And in collaboration, across suppliers and customers and governments, we absolutely have to get it right!”

Segars also pointed out that it’s hard to expand wafer production because there’s so many different chemicals involved. “I mean virtually the whole periodic table that is used in making semiconductors. You need industrial style, very pure chemicals to feed into these factories downstream… So you need much more than just a chip factory to address these supply chain issues.”

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Source:: Slashdot