What's going on with chips and automobiles.
Publicado el 07/02/2021.
Translated with google, expect bugs.
Between December 2020 and February 2021 there are news over and over again of car companies that are reducing production if not completely paralyzing it due to lack of microchips. Some venture to claim that it is an excuse for not making more cars as sales are plummeting and the future of cars is uncertain. They are not without reason when it comes to the future of the car, but I think that they are two things that are happening at the same time, the shortage of microchips and the future of the car more than black.
Already in 2019, to be more exact in August, I published that this would happen sooner or later. My reasoning published in my article The End of Memory 1, Microchips can be found in my books Collapsist Stories and Peak Memory and the specific article on my website The End of Memory (I): Processors .
To get to the point and analyze the key points I am writing this article where we review what is happening and why.
Peak demand for IT products:The first issue to review is the global trend in the purchase of computer products, although it may seem incredible, the maximum production of hard drives, computers, mobile phones and other gadgets such as cars, or household appliances arrived during the decade from 2010 to 2020. That is to say Once all the world and globalized markets of all humans have been opened, there are hardly any markets left to grow on, this means that there is no longer an excuse to manufacture more units of something each year, but rather that what is required is a replacement rate of what that is breaking down. The planned obsolescence here has an important role known to the computer world for decades, if the equipment does not become obsolete, the replacement rate is not enough to keep so many manufacturers in assets,And although obsolescence is forced with software updates that make equipment increasingly slower and slower, and that in the past has served to keep hardware sales growing or maintaining, not even so the consumers of the planet need to renew or even have so many computers, or smart cars or washing machines. The world market has reached its peak.
Peak Oil: Although ignored by the market and the media, the fact that world energy has also reached its maximum production and since then less and less is extracted in the decade from 2010 to 2020 indirectly or directly influences consumer decisions to renew or even own certain technology items. The car is a clear example of an object that has been dispossessed by the middle class, especially the young, due to the reality of work and energy that is gradually overshadowing the current capitalist system.
The friendly market:With the 2 previous reasons, the market cannot grow, there is no motivation for new companies financed with huge amounts of private money to want to enter a market that is already controlled by fewer and fewer companies, and that is shrinking while many others close unable to fight for a clearly declining market. In other words, there are fewer and fewer companies that exist because only the strongest can support a reduction in demand, and this in turn prevents new companies from entering the market as there is no growing market that expands the demand for units. Little by little, countries such as Japan, the United States, or Europe are losing the ability to manufacture chips because they do not earn income and end up subcontracting to the large companies that remain in this production because it does not pay to invest in new factories.The latest generation chips that are the most demanded in this declining global technological world are only manufactured in 2 countries, Taiwan and South Korea, and of these two countries two companies, TSMC in Taiwan and Samsung in South Korea. The rest of the companies in the world that manufacture chips are ceasing to manufacture them and subcontract manufacturing to these 2 companies, the most notorious case this 21st century has been that of the American Intel that already subcontracts the manufacture of its latest generation processors to TSMC, Intel the world manufacturer par excellence since the invention of processors in the 60-70 years.The rest of the companies in the world that manufacture chips are ceasing to manufacture them and subcontract manufacturing to these 2 companies, the most notorious case this 21st century has been that of the American Intel that already subcontracts the manufacture of its latest generation processors to TSMC, Intel the world manufacturer par excellence since the invention of processors in the 60-70 years.The rest of the companies in the world that manufacture chips are ceasing to manufacture them and subcontract manufacturing to these 2 companies, the most notorious case this 21st century has been that of the American Intel that already subcontracts the manufacture of its latest generation processors to TSMC, Intel the world manufacturer par excellence since the invention of processors in the 60-70 years.
The complexity:Another reason for all this to be the case is that due to the complexity the investments to make chip factories are terribly high, between 10,000 and 20,000 million euros just to start, but then have about 20,000 30,000 engineers and people very specialized in these issues, something beyond the reach of most countries in the world. The technology necessary to manufacture these chips only exists in the Netherlands, in the hands of the ASML company, which only sells to allied countries, since these issues are state affairs. That is to say that the already complex manufacturing, the necessary technology is only made by one company around the world, and it only sells where the governments allow, as the US and Europe pressure so that this technology is only sold to countries such as the US, Japan or Taiwan and they sideline China for strategic reasons and warlike misgivings.
The Chinese: The only country in the world that could create factories right now to make next-generation chips, for money and engineers, is China, but this is not something to the liking of the US, the West in general, and Europe subservient to American interests. By allowing China to access the Dutch ASML technology, the problems of world supplies of processors could be remedied as it is a country with the capacity and money to carry out such a task, but the West prefers a shortage of chips to China. become the largest high-end chip maker in the world, all and that would be temporary because as I said before the power issue is a major issue that will impede chip manufacturing in the near future.
Public money:Once again, when it is necessary to save an industry, it is not the friendly market but the pocket of the poor taxpayers. Public money is a factor to take into account now that private investment cannot and is not interested in investing in businesses in markets that are shrinking and whose costs are in the tens of billions of euros. China has put a lot of money to try to get state-of-the-art chips manufactured in its territory. It is the country that has taken this issue most seriously and the one that is closest to achieving it, also fighting against international vetoes on access to technology. The US has put money on the table to the Taiwanese TSMC to set up factories in the United States that are expected for 2022-2023.Europe seen the chip problem and its car industry in its worst moments has put a lot of money to see if using Dutch technology some outdated European chip maker can upgrade and save the European high tech industry.
Well, due to all these factors and that to manufacture anything, from a play station game console, an amd computer, or intel through all high-end mobiles, apple computers, graphics cards, and the chips that go inside cars, They all have to go through the same 12 factories that have a limited capacity of daily units, because of all this, and because energy is running out and it is not worth expanding these factories, the chips of the planet are scarce in 2021 waiting for them to be the power ends at once, or that China will also be able to manufacture processors, or that in 2 or 3 years the US or Europe will have a factory capable of manufacturing chips as is done in Taiwan and South Korea.07/02/2021
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