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Chips are down: IABM releases electronic component survey results

Mon 07, 06 2021

Worldwide shortages across many categories causing difficulties for many IABM members

IABM today released the results of a survey conducted across its international membership of media technology suppliers, which asked for their direct experience of shortages of electronic components -and what actions they are taking to mitigate these. 130 companies responded, with 40% reporting severe, 45% moderate and 15% mild issues – meaning that every responding company is experiencing some level of problems in obtaining components.

The survey also asked respondents which components in particular they were struggling to obtain. Chips were by far the most reported – 43%. While the definition of ‘Chip’ covers both logic and memory, 13% of respondents picked memory specifically, and 11% FPGAs. Assemblies and sub-assemblies (workstations, motherboards, PCBs etc.) also featured significantly with 7-11% reporting shortages of these. Oscillators, GPUs, SFPs and CPUs were only of concern for between 1 and 3% of respondents. 56% of respondents reported shortages across all or most of the component categories.

The survey also asked whether the problems are with supplies from particular geographies. 26% of respondents identified APAC as the source of supply difficulties (and just 5% and 7% respectively for the Americas and EMEA), but large majority (62%) saw this as an international problem – with supply problems everywhere components are manufactured.

Finally, the survey asked what respondents were doing to mitigate the effects of the shortages. 40% are finding alternative suppliers and spreading orders across several, 31% are advance ordering large stocks and/or paying more, 19% are managing customer expectations and 10% are just waiting for things to improve.

“The worldwide shortage of electronic components may be making the headlines mainly due to its effect on the automotive industry, but this survey shows it is also having a significant impact on the Broadcast, Media and Entertainment technology industry,” said Lorenzo Zanni, Head of Knowledge at IABM. “We undertook this international survey because some of our members indicated that they were having problems sourcing components; these survey results, which were given to us by members in every geography, clearly show that this is an international problem, which, given the difficulty in obtaining some of the rare raw materials and the fact that you can’t suddenly switch up production to meet demand, looks likely to be with us for some time to come.”

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