While developing a counterfeit chip is a time-consuming process, the impetus to do so has increased. With the market demand for chips unlikely to ease in the near future, the chip shortage will last into 2023 for a couple of reasons.
First, COVID-19 has increased the demand for more computing power in employees’ homes. Distributed access requires more bandwidth in edge networks that connect homes to the internet as well as to centralized data centers. The bandwidth demands increase the volume of existing designs in production, and new designs are being rushed to the market.
Second, the worldwide shortage of shipping capacity and long delays in border crossings slows delivery rates in a globalized industry like chip manufacturing. Before the pandemic, chip fabrication units were already operating near capacity. The current logistical challenges to procure essential materials, equipment, and other supplies have made the capacity challenges for authentic chips worse. Recycled chips or re-packaged failed parts don’t face as many of these production challenges.
Of these factors, the only problem that can be solved relatively soon is getting shipping to work more efficiently as border restrictions ease with the slowing of the pandemic. While products that are set to release in the next few months take chip availability into account, availability today doesn’t guarantee availability for the next six months.