The world’s biggest semiconductor maker this morning warned that the current chip shortage could well last into 2022.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) said that it was doing everything it could to alleviate the drought of the processors, which are vital for a vast range of electric devices.
Chief exec C. C. Wei told investors that the firm was hiring new staff and expanding its facilities in order to tackle the shortage, which has hit sectors such as the automotive industry hard.
“We have acquired land and equipment, and started the construction of new facilities. We are hiring thousands of employees and expanding our capacity at multiple sites”, he said.
By market share, the Taiwanese firm makes more than 50 per cent of the world’s semiconductors.
TSMC’s comments come after Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess said that the shortage was the only factor limiting the global auto market’s recovery from Covid-19.
“The only thing that is currently limiting and slowing down this recovery is the critical supply situation worldwide with regard to various semiconductor types,” Diess said.
He in turn was speaking after Ford said it would carry out a series of production shutdowns due to the dearth.
The second-largest US car maker did not outline how many vehicles would be lost in the latest actions, and reiterated it intends to provide an update of the financial impact of the chip shortage at its quarterly earnings later this month.
Ford previously said it expected the chip shortage to cost between $1bn and $2.5bn.
It is one of several car giants, including Renault and Honda, to make such plans.
In a bid to address the issue, earlier this week US President Joe Biden met with industry bosses to discuss the issue.
Biden has earmarked $50bn for investment into the sector through his landmark “American Jobs” infrastructure plan.
A readout from Tuesday’s call said: “[Participants] also discussed the importance of encouraging additional semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the United States to make sure we never again face shortages.”