The older company’s analog chips are still essential, even in a digital age. Due too the chip shortage every chip is essential.
The number of semiconductors in a modern car can exceed a thousand. As the global chip shortage drags on, car makers find they need chips from older companies like Texas Instruments. This, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Technology executives say the worldwide supply chain bottleneck has a wide variety of products, from the iPhone To Ford F-150 trucks. Analog chips handle input information about temperature, sound, and current like a human on many gradient scales.
Samson Hu, co-chief executive of Asustek, recently complained that the factory assembly line was disrupted by a shortage of analog chips to control battery usage and amplify sound effects.
“As we have observed, uncertainty lies in certain major American IDM (Integrated Device Manufacturer) companies,” Hu said. Industry insiders believe he was referring to Texas Instruments. An Asustek spokeswoman declined to comment, and a Texas Instruments representative did not respond to repeated requests by WSJ for comment.
Even iconic digital products like iPhones depend on “legacy” analog chips
Apple CEO Tim Cook also complained about the shortage that is causing Apple to lose “billions of dollars in sales opportunities”. He referred to the missing parts as “legacy nodes”. This is a term for older manufacturing processes that includes analog chips and some digital chips.
“The chip shortage is happening on legacy nodes,” Cook said. “We mainly buy leading nodes and we have no problems with leading nodes. But on legacy nodes, we compete with many different companies for delivery.”
Texas Instruments admits that some customers are not getting everything they want. “Inventory is clearly well below what we want,” Chief Financial Officer Rafael Rizardi said in an October earnings call.
The company has new capabilities in the works and that construction will begin next year on two new facilities in Sherman Texas.