The U.S. Department of Commerce said Tuesday that a global survey of semiconductor chip makers and users will continue to be in short supply, mainly driven by scale production capacity restrictions.
Last year’s voluntary survey of 150 companies in the supply chain confirmed that “there is a significant and persistent mismatch in chip supply and demand, and that respondents have not eliminated the problem in the next six months.”
US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raymondo told reporters: “In some cases we did not get what we needed. We are going to go to the company and make a personal commitment and get what we need.”
Taiwan’s Ministry of Economy responded to the survey by reiterating that Taiwanese companies are working hard to produce chips and are collaborating with “key international business partners” to strengthen supply chains.
TSMC, Asia’s most valuable listed company and the largest global contract chip maker, declined to comment.
The United States may compel foreign semiconductor companies operating in the country to answer detailed questions about the chip market.
The Commerce Department said it had found some chips used by automakers and medical device manufacturers to be unusually expensive.
The department said “the industry will be involved in resolving specific issues in the coming weeks. We will also look into complaints about unusually high prices.”
“Demand for chips is high. It is growing,” Raymondo said, adding that demand is now 20% higher than the 2019 level. “There is not a lot of good news,” he added.
The average consumer balance of core chips has fallen from 40 days in 2019 to less than 5 days in 2021, the department said.
US President Joe Biden has been urging Congress to send more money to boost chip production in the United States as shortages of key components used in automobiles and computers have exacerbated supply chain barriers.
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