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How long might the COVID chip shortage last?

Answer: Up to two years.

Closeup of a gold computer chip.
The popularity of semiconductor chips has skyrocketed in the last few years as more and more products become tech-enabled. That coupled with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a global shortage of these chips, and predictions as to when the shortage will end are all over the place.

Some of the companies that make these chips are optimistic, predicting that their supply will catch up with their demand in the next few months. Cisco thinks things should return to normal by the end of the year. The largest chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), even believes that it should be caught up with auto industry demand next month.

IBM, on the other hand, thinks the shortage won’t be alleviated for a “couple years.” Analysts, too, think we’re looking at a more prolonged shortage. “Because demand will remain high and supply will remain constrained, we expect this shortage to last through 2022 and into 2023,” said Glenn O’Donnell, a Forrester Research vice president. “It’s not just autos. It’s phones. It’s the internet of everything. There’s so many goods now that have many more chips than they ever did in the past.”