Renewed lockdowns in Asia threaten supply of important ceramic components in addition...

nanoguy

Posts: 972   +14
Staff member
Why it matters: Chips are the stars of the show whenever a new CPU, GPU, or mobile device is announced, but there is a component that is equally important but usually overlooked unless there's a shortage threatening to cause production issues. That component is the humble capacitor, which is used in almost every single device powered by electricity.

The shortage of everything from advanced chips to the lowly $1 display driver chips that power almost every digital device we use has caused a great deal of grief in the tech and auto industries. It looks like it's about to get worse as Covid-19 infections are threatening production of even more basic electronic components found in every single electronic device.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, capacitors are the latest electronic component where the supply is running low while demand grows stronger than ever. Specifically, this is about multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), which are used in many different applications, especially high-density printed circuit boards. The tiny components under a desktop CPU or on the cutout on the backside of a graphics card are MLCCs, whose role is to ensure steady voltage during power usage spikes.

In other words, MLCCs are the "workhorses" of the electronic component industry, and they're vital for the stable operation of everything from wearables, phones, tablets, consoles, PC components, servers, electric cars, and pretty much anything else powered by electricity.

Back in June, lockdowns in Malaysia and the Philippines were already causing a great deal of concern about the potential effects on the already tight supply of MLCC. Over the past few weeks, companies like Murata and Samsung, who are the largest manufacturers of these components, have warned that their production capacities and shipment schedules for high-end MLCCs could be severely affected if regional lockdowns continue.

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VitalyT

Posts: 5,942   +6,200
Every other day, there seems to be another bad news for PC gamers.
2021 is the worst year ever, for PCs.
And it will only get worse. According to the current projections, by 2040, any failure in a video card will correlate with a nuclear meltdown.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,229   +6,998
As impossible as it sounds, the designers of components need to start researching way to avoid using "rare earth" and rare commodity items to build these components. There also needs to be a more concerted effort made toward recovery as well. Yes, it may sound ridicules but we are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes exhaustion of some of these items and it would be far smarter to start working the problem NOW rather than when the inevitable occurs.

Remember, the exhaustion of materials is not necessarily the lack of existence, but can be driven by a number of socioeconomic factors that are out of ours or anyone's control.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,105   +2,096
Every other day, there seems to be another bad news for PC gamers.
2021 is the worst year ever, for PCs.

Yes but it's far bigger than that: this is just a gold rush of companies trying to find any excuse to maintain or create a supply constrain to renegotiate their prices. I am not at all surprised this is happening, my only surprise is that it didn't happen any sooner as perhaps they needed a seemingly bullet proof excuse which a global pandemic provided but the way modern distribution chains work means this kind of thing is kind of inevitable: if the incentive of any company is to just make not just money, not just more money, but *all* of the money, then the companies that have been patiently waiting in the background making almost no profits while giants like Apple become the biggest company in the world eventually come to see that Apple and other giants really can't fight all of them together if they just coordinate a better negotiation point now that they're fully dependent on their lower on the production chain tech for their products.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 793   +612
Yes but it's far bigger than that: this is just a gold rush of companies trying to find any excuse to maintain or create a supply constrain to renegotiate their prices. I am not at all surprised this is happening, my only surprise is that it didn't happen any sooner as perhaps they needed a seemingly bullet proof excuse which a global pandemic provided but the way modern distribution chains work means this kind of thing is kind of inevitable: if the incentive of any company is to just make not just money, not just more money, but *all* of the money, then the companies that have been patiently waiting in the background making almost no profits while giants like Apple become the biggest company in the world eventually come to see that Apple and other giants really can't fight all of them together if they just coordinate a better negotiation point now that they're fully dependent on their lower on the production chain tech for their products.
Just out of curiosity what evidence do you have for price fixing? If you do some research these Asian countries can’t get workers in their factories at the moment.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,720   +4,256
Just out of curiosity what evidence do you have for price fixing? If you do some research these Asian countries can’t get workers in their factories at the moment.
If you do some researh you'll see that china has been back to normal for nearly a year now, yet everything produced there is in "shortage" for some reason, and it just so happens the prices for these goods continues to climb. Hmmmmmm......
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 793   +612
If you do some researh you'll see that china has been back to normal for nearly a year now, yet everything produced there is in "shortage" for some reason, and it just so happens the prices for these goods continues to climb. Hmmmmmm......
Lmao, If you actually bothered to read the article you would see that it’s talking about lockdowns in Malaysia and the Phillphines. Not China.

Funnily enough when factories close, their supply stops and the prices of existing inventory goes up. I mean this is economics 101..
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,525   +4,910
Lmao, If you actually bothered to read the article you would see that it’s talking about lockdowns in Malaysia and the Phillphines. Not China.

Funnily enough when factories close, their supply stops and the prices of existing inventory goes up. I mean this is economics 101..
And if others had also read the article, it mentioned nothing at all about "Rare Earth" resources being responsible for the shortage of parts.

But what the hey! If the humanity really wants to do something about the lack Rare Earth resources, then humanity should work out the differences WRT asteroid mining and get off their collective butts and go mine a few asteroids, IMO. Heck, the profit from the asteroid Atlantis is estimated to be 'only' worth $5.22 Trillion dollars. https://www.asterank.com/

People seem to be content to P&M about the lack of rare materials instead of doing anything about it. :facepalm:
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,525   +4,910
If you do some researh you'll see that china has been back to normal for nearly a year now, yet everything produced there is in "shortage" for some reason, and it just so happens the prices for these goods continues to climb. Hmmmmmm......
Maybe its retribution....
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 793   +612
And if others had also read the article, it mentioned nothing at all about "Rare Earth" resources being responsible for the shortage of parts.

But what the hey! If the humanity really wants to do something about the lack Rare Earth resources, then humanity should work out the differences WRT asteroid mining and get off their collective butts and go mine a few asteroids, IMO. Heck, the profit from the asteroid Atlantis is estimated to be 'only' worth $5.22 Trillion dollars. https://www.asterank.com/

People seem to be content to P&M about the lack of rare materials instead of doing anything about it. :facepalm:
Everything is a conspiracy to some people.
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 968   +393
And if others had also read the article, it mentioned nothing at all about "Rare Earth" resources being responsible for the shortage of parts.

But what the hey! If the humanity really wants to do something about the lack Rare Earth resources, then humanity should work out the differences WRT asteroid mining and get off their collective butts and go mine a few asteroids, IMO. Heck, the profit from the asteroid Atlantis is estimated to be 'only' worth $5.22 Trillion dollars. https://www.asterank.com/

People seem to be content to P&M about the lack of rare materials instead of doing anything about it. :facepalm:

Very interesting stuff. But I think they gotta nail some pesky details down first on how best to get heavy metals from an asteroid floating in space.

I hear theres trillions of dollars worth of these metals in Afgahnistan. We might want to try there first. Save on some gas money.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,290   +518
Artificially produced virus, produced an artificial crisis, and artificial shortages, and they are convincing us that vaccinating everyone with dangerous substance will make things normal again. Yep. Sure. I think dr. Mengele already tried something similar decades ago. Didn't end well for his patients.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,525   +4,910
I hear theres trillions of dollars worth of these metals in Afgahnistan. We might want to try there first. Save on some gas money.
🤣 Not to mention that things have to cool down there, too. And there's further possible environmental issues that I am sure every side of the political spectrum will have an opinion on.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,525   +4,910
Artificially produced virus, produced an artificial crisis, and artificial shortages, and they are convincing us that vaccinating everyone with dangerous substance will make things normal again. Yep. Sure. I think dr. Mengele already tried something similar decades ago. Didn't end well for his patients.
Yep. Vaccines have been a conspiracy since the very first one, historically speaking, was developed.

A Nova episode from last year covered the history of vaccines very well, IMO.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,290   +518
If you check the law definition of conspiracy, it's quite easy to see that it's probably the most widespread type of crime in existence. As long as you have two or more people, and they premeditated the crime, they've committed a conspiracy. So, city mayor receiving bribery to assign construction works to company X is a conspiracy. Planned bank robbery including 2 or more people is a conspiracy. A programmer being ordered to open a security hole in an app, is a conspiracy (if he did it on his own, then it's not).

Claiming that conspiracies don't exist, or that are very rare, is like claiming that rains are rare in a rainforest.