Arm CEO issues chip fab investment warning - Mobile World Live

Arm CEO issues chip fab investment warning

02 NOV 2021
ARM

LIVE FROM WEB SUMMIT 2021: Arm CEO Simon Segars (pictured) explained solving a global chip shortage will be complex and predicted current supply chain disruptions will last well into 2022.

The Arm executive noted the industry is currently spending $2 billion a week to add capacity and projected this investment will result in a 50 per cent increase within five years.

Segars noted shortfalls in Asian production combined with geopolitical tensions are motivating chipmakers to build factories elsewhere, but cautioned this is not a surefire solution.

“Just building factories is not enough”.

“You need materials, chemicals. The whole periodic table is used in making semiconductors”.

The executive also listed a number of “downstream” activities necessary to semiconductor production including testing, packaging and shipping.

Investment in new factories without consideration of the broader market could be harmful rather than helpful, Segars argued.

“Will we accidentally break the industry as we do this”, he asked the audience. “We absolutely have to get it right”.

Segars argued “better collaboration of all players in the supply chain” will help ameliorate shortages and predicted “constraints will be a little better but not completely fixed” by end-2022.

The Arm chief also noted Covid-19 (coronavirus) prompted a shift in focus from the automotive industry to systems which could help home working and schooling.

Segars expressed optimism about the role connected devices play in efficiently addressing global issues, for example by alerting rainforest rangers to illegal felling.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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