Wait Times for Chip Deliveries Grow Again

Chip shortage graphic

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The wait times for semiconductor deliveries rose again in February, a sign that shortages are continuing to bedevil chip buyers in a wide range of industries.

Lead times — the lag between when a chip is ordered and delivered — increased by three days to 26.2 weeks last month, according to research by Susquehanna Financial Group. In January, the group reported that delays were getting shorter, the first sign of improvement since 2019.

Though the lag times have now increased again, they aren’t growing quite as quickly as during much of 2021. But certain sectors were hit worse than others. Delivery times for microcontrollers reached a high of 35.7 weeks in February, according to Susquehanna’s research. Lead times also increased by a week-and-a-half for power-management components. Both are essential parts of many electronics, including car components.

The global shortage of semiconductors began in the first half of 2020, driven by pandemic-fueled demand for consumer technology and vehicles. The scarcity of chips has held back production of everything from smartphones to pickup trucks, leading to billions in lost revenue and contributing to inflation by raising costs.

The Biden administration said in January that it anticipated the shortage to continue until at least the second half of the year. Chip industry executives have cautioned that some chip users won’t be able to get all that they need until into 2023.

—With assistance from Ian King.

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