As Chip Supply Eases, Will Capacitors Be Next?


As some industry analysts predict a quick end to the global IC shortage, others are reporting lead times of up to 25 weeks on a product that usually delivers in 1-2: Aluminum foil electrolytic capacitors. Unlike Silicon Wafers that can take up to two months to complete, electrolytic capacitors are rolled out in seconds, though procuring supplies takes a bit longer.

A one-month COVID-19 lockdown in Malaysia is credited in part for the tight supply, and manufacturers in other countries have already stepped up to full capacity to fill the void. It probably doesn’t help that the Malaysian lockdown coincided with the uptick in IC deliveries, since companies that assemble the final device may be required to increase their capacitor orders to match their IC supply.

With the Malaysian lockdown that was scheduled to end today extended indefinitely it’s impossible to predict exactly when this tight supply might ease. Tight supply manifests itself a shortage when for example a lean manufacturing firm that just placed an order for 15 weeks out is told that its next order needs to be 25 weeks advanced.

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