Potential Overcapacity

Over the first quarter of 2021, we heard one too many announcements by chipmakers (#TSMC, #Samsung, #Intel, #SKHynix etc.) around the world on their investment plans for capacity expansions and R&D efforts towards advanced technologies. This is driven by a global #chip shortage situation and intensified by #geopolitics.

Increasingly, we hear overbooking of orders by customers trying to minimize disruption to their own businesses. This stockpiling can also lead to a skewed view of the demand vs. capacity situation. Thus, we could be running a real risk of an overcapacity situation, esp. for less advanced #semiconductor #technology, in 2-3 years’ time if all these announced facilities come online. At the moment, manufacturers seem to prefer the option of managing an overcapacity situation over that of potentially missing out on tapping into an unprecedented growth cycle.

It’ll be interesting to see if this capacity buildup will unfold into a downward price pressure situation or it’ll be rightly placed to benefit from the enduring impact of pandemic driven (or accelerated) trends as #WFH, #5G adoption, #cloud demand surge, #EV, #AV, etc.