Chip supplies are scarce, and it may not get better till late 2021
I'm sure to begin with CNET.
Joining me today is Cristiano Amman.
He is the incoming CEO of Qualcomm.
Qualcomm is known for providing chips for most of the world's phones.
And it's also expanded into providing processors for PCs, cars.
Basically anything you can think of.
Christiana has been with the company since 1995.
And has served as president since 2018.
He'll take over as CEO this summer.
Christiana, thanks for joining me today.
Thank you so much, Eric.
Good to see you.
Very happy to be here with you.
Good to see you, too.
I wanna jump right in about kind of the really big news happening in the chip industry right now.
All we're hearing about is chip shortages.
You know, people can't get their Ford pickups, GM cars.
You can't buy GPUs you can't get a Sony PlayStation five, all of these products.
You know, can you explain for us what's actually going on?
Like why is there this huge shortage right now?
You know, it's a perfect storm and I'll tell you what's really causing this is a combination.
The very first one is when the pandemic started, and it was the beginning of 2020.
The assumption was that, you know, the world's gonna go into a recession.
So every capacity expansion in the supply chain of semiconductors you.
There was a slowdown, people delayed that and that means investment in buildings and building new manufacturing lines and clean rooms.
Sometimes it takes about 12 to 18 months for you to build capacity.
Then what we saw he was the opposite What we saw was a V shaped recovery happened first and developed nations then later in emerging markets and we saw recovery.
And then on top of that recovery we saw a big acceleration of digital it's if I can say in a very simple terms is, digital became more important because of the pandemic and examples are Everybody went home.
So we saw something called the enterprise transformation of the home.
People buy a new PC so PC went up.
People mind printers, people buy Wi Fi access point upgraded their Wi Fi, upgrading broadband, even office furniture, not semiconductor, but there was definitely.
Of significant growth driven by that enterprise transformation of the home.
Second thing to happen is companies realize as they connect with their employees they needed to connect their assets.
So we saw The celebration of digital transformation IoT became very important, how to connect machines connect to assets connect laboratories, and we saw that in our IoT business we saw incredible world on top of this Huawei was driving about 200 million phones.
And as while we started to have inability to surf, you know the market as a result of the sanctions.
That demand got a place into a supply chain that was not prepared to handle that demand and then you have the other aspects Which is companies like Intel.
They had delays in the processor technology.
They went to other semi-conductor supply chains.
They were not Used to support Intel to build their capacity for their products.
So you add all of this together, we have an incredible crisis in the supply chain.
The good news is I expect supply to catch up with demand towards the end of 2021.
So we see light at the end of the tunnel.
We're excited about that.
So you said it's impacting phones like, in what way?
Like, are we gonna see devices launched later?
Is it going to be harder to get in certain phones?
Or like, you know, like what does it do to the phone market?
What we said in the last earnings call is demand right now is basically paced by supply.
There's more demand for phones in the market.
Then the industry ability to supply and it is it's kind of probably reflected in you know, some products products are launching it but their ability to ramp you know and and fill up inventory in the channels there even some confusion.
I remember during the The last earnings call one of the confusion that existence whether there's inventory, it's been built in the channel.
I wish this channel had inventory.
I believe there's this, this huge demand, especially as Huawei is not able to serve a lot of the demand.
The operating this has been picked up by all all the other players everyone is seen an opportunity for growth.
And there's like I said there's more demand to put phones in the shelf than we then the industry can supply today.
So, you know, we've we've seen this be a huge issue everywhere automakers are where we're really hearing it the most.
You know, this is even caused the Biden administration to respond.
You know, they signed an executive order.
That said they'll look at critical supply chains that includes semiconductors.
You know, also looking at giving I think $37 billion in funding to boost chip manufacturing.
You know, how does that impact Qualcomm?
And do you think that that, you know, obviously that's not going to fix the shortage right now like what does this do?
What does this accomplish?
Semiconductor supply, by all means is a strategic matter and especially given the Importance of digital in the economy.
Look, we talk a lot about 5g, being the key ingredient for a digital economy across the board.
And it's true as you connect everything to the cloud, you need 5g to connect to cloud to every device.
And, and as we started thinking about the digital economy, you need semiconductors and in they To have a robust, supply chain for a semiconductor is paramount, I think.
And it is one of the key strategic initiatives when you think about critical infrastructure.
So we're very happy about that.
And if anything, I don't expect that this was what's going to resolve the crisis.
The crisis has been resolved by capacity.
That was in putting in place.
But the importance of this is to call the attention and make sure that we have,, a robust, supply chain and investments are made, across a number of technologies now specifically to happen to the auto industry.
It's a little bit of a constant.
Every industry operate a little bit different, the auto industry has been famous for just in time, so as the pandemic hits in automobile sales went to a historical low that supply chain.
Thing just in time kind of shut down or have a very low levels of inventory.
As this bounce back, you have to response time and then you add everything else.
I talked about it.
Then you had a very difficult situation, but even within the automotive sector expecting to normalize towards the end of the year.
Thanks for joining me today.
For more information about Qualcomm, check out cnet.com
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