Chips will remain in short supply next year, and some component lead times will stretch into 2023.
Deloitte today released its Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) 2022 Predictions report, which highlights how worldwide trends in TMT may affect businesses and consumers worldwide. The report underscores how many of these trends are being driven by the global pandemic’s economic and societal shifts, resulting in an increasingly connected and multi-device world, fueling the world’s need for more chips, growth in connectivity, and entertainment options.
“The pandemic increased the need to maintain connections, improve productivity and experience entertainment, with accelerated adoption from both consumers and businesses alike,” said Kevin Westcott, vice chair, Deloitte LLP, U.S. TMT and global Telecommunications, Media and Entertainment (TME) practice leader. “In 2022, we foresee these behaviors continuing to grow, but amid a backdrop of challenges. Supply chain woes, increasing regulatory issues and changing media habits will be at the forefront of business leaders’ minds as these challenges impact their ability to meet market demands.”
Surge in chip demand but supply crunch continues
Deloitte predicts that many types of chips will still be in short supply during 2022, but it will be less severe than it was for most of 2021, and it will not affect all chips. The continuation of the chip shortage and its staying power boils down to a significant surge in demand, driven by digital transformation and accelerated by the pandemic.
Unsurprisingly, venture capital investment in semiconductors is taking off to fill that demand for new kinds of chips. Deloitte predicts that venture capital (VC) firms globally will invest more than US$6 billion in semiconductor startup companies in 2022. That may only be 2% of the US$300 billion-plus of overall VC investment expected for 2022, but it’s more than three times larger than it was every year between 2000 and 2016.
Wi-Fi 6 outselling 5G devices
Many countries have adopted 5G over the past two years, but Wi-Fi 6 devices are now quietly outselling 5G devices by a large margin and will likely continue to do so for the next few years. Deloitte predicts that more Wi-Fi 6 devices will ship in 2022 than 5G devices, to the tune of at least 2.5 billion Wi-Fi 6 devices versus roughly 1.5 billion 5G devices. The reason: Wi-Fi 6, just as much as 5G, has a significant role to play in the future of wireless connectivity—not just for consumers, but also for the enterprise.