Never let it be said that I missed an opportunity to say I told you so. On May 10th, IHS, the most prominent of our industry’s prognosticators, included the following in their press release.
‘With supply chain participants in 2011 reporting 1,363 separate counterfeit-part incidents worldwide—a record level—conditions now are prime for counterfeit reports to reach new highs in 2012,’ reports IHS. Most electronic components appear to be experiencing a tightening of supply along with an increase in pricing and lead times. Price increases are expected to continue rising throughout 2012. IHS now predicts that demand will exceed supply in the third and fourth quarters for many widely used components, including capacitors, NAND flash, dynamic random access memory (DRAM), power semiconductors and logic chips.”
“Any time we see modest growth projections being offered with a backdrop of rapid demand, we think shortage. We know that’s a horrible specter to raise without more foundation, but forewarned is still forearmed. From a buyer’s point of view, it will likely be advisable to verify dock dates more frequently. Be sensitive to small delays and push-outs; they are often the harbinger of longer ones.
It is likely not wise to call your sales reps and order more components. If this comes to pass, it likely won’t arrive until late spring or summer.”
Remember you heard it here first. In addition to the list of supply chain concerns IHS has published, I believe you should add Fairchild Power MOSFETs, Atmel EEproms, Fairchild Optocouplers and ST Micro/NXP 8 bit microprocessors. Also, if you haven’t heard, Toshiba is exiting the LED business. Wear your helmets.