back to article Intel: The economy is bad right now, but we still need more fabs

Intel said it will continue building new chip manufacturing plants in the West despite a shrinking global economy because it's important to diversify supply chains and expand capacity for when it expects semiconductor demand to rebound. The x86 giant reiterated its commitment to its multibillion-dollar manufacturing expansions …

  1. ecofeco Silver badge

    Bad economy?

    What bad economy? And did the backlog of chip orders finally disappear?

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Bad economy?

      The backlog is clearing - a lot of the reason it persisted beyond pandemic induced shortages from closures or shipping snarls was because customers that used to keep minimal inventories on hand decided that keeping larger inventories was a better idea despite what the "just in time manufacturing" COOs told them.

      Once those larger inventories are filled the order books started to clear quickly. There are still some categories with serious shortages, but those are in older technology nodes not affected by whether Intel builds these new fabs or not.

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    shortages of some chips have turned into gluts

    But as DS999 points out above, not all of them.

    And there are still people out there who want or need older technology nodes. Even hobbyists still exist - but look how many jellybean commodity simple logic parts are still not in stock and still show six month to a year or more delivery times. And you wanted MLCC capacitors, sir? Hmmm...

    It'll be nice when the supply chain returns to normalcy.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: shortages of some chips have turned into gluts

      And at least some of the "glut" in the expensive chips is because manufacturers can't get hold of the jellybeans needed to actually make finished product.

      A CPU is useless without quite a lot of jellybeans around it.

      So manufacturers have stopped ordering the big chips until they can use the ones they've already got.

      Can't afford to buy more until they can sell finished goods - even though the market will buy everything they make.

    2. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: shortages of some chips have turned into gluts

      So true. I make industrial automation software, and even though I'm not on the hardware side, my schedules have been utter chaos for the last two years. Projects get delayed multiple times because electronics that used to be in stock now have a six-months lead time, and those that used to have a lead time now work on a "we'll let you know when we have one" basis. Then the part arrives, and suddenly I'll get a call on the lines of "can you come do the job, like, yesterday?".

      One customer has been sitting on a brand-new device that I think costs nearly one million, for months, because a 1000€ card can't be found. But when it gets found, of course they'll want the software up and running immediately, and I can't blame him. But I can't make a decent planning, which is havoc on my efficiency. It's insane.

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