Chip Delivery Times Shrink in Sign That Supply Crunch Is Easing

Semiconductor chip
(sefa ozel/Getty Images)

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Chip delivery times shrank by four days in September, the biggest drop in years, in a sign that the industry’s supply crunch is easing.

Lead times — the gap between when a chip is ordered and when it is delivered — averaged 26.3 weeks in the period, according to research by Susquehanna Financial Group. That compares with nearly 27 weeks the prior month.

Wait times contracted for all key product categories, with power-management and analog chips seeing the biggest declines, Susquehanna analyst Christopher Rolland said in a research note.

A global chip shortage bedeviled a wide range of industries in the past year, with automakers and other manufacturers struggling to get enough semiconductors. Pockets of supply constraints remain, but now many chipmakers are concerned about the opposite problem: chip inventory getting too high.

Lead times for semiconductors

A sales slowdown in certain markets, such as personal computers, has left Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. with less demand than expected. AMD’s third-quarter sales missed projections by more than $1 billion earlier in October, and Intel is poised to cut jobs to cope with the slump.

U.S. tensions with China also are clouding the chip industry’s future. The Biden administration announced new export curbs this month, restricting what U.S. companies can sell to the Asian nation.

The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index, a key benchmark of chip stocks, has fallen 44% this year.

— With assistance from Ian King.

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