As is often the case, the price of processors and graphics cards is subject to a margin and prices dictated by the market of the materials that compose it and except for long-term contracts, prices fluctuate and adjust from time to time. But everything is over and when it is necessary to renew the contractors and manufacturers are going to find a dantesque scenario that they are going to have to transfer to the users.
Wafer makers fear uncontrolled rise
There are a good number of ancillary industries within the semiconductor industry. Starting with that of minerals and ending with electricity, but what happened last night with one of the most used minerals is extremely worrying.
And it is that the prices of the polysilicon markets have increased by more than 20% until reaching the $ 36 approximately per kilogram of this mineral. This is going to bring two quite serious and totally different consequences, mainly because the reasons for such a sudden rise in a key mineral for the entire semiconductor industry are not yet understood.
The first scenario has to do with the world’s great wafer manufacturers, such as GlobalWafers, Formosa Sumco Technology and Wafer Works. These companies and others of equal importance have closed contracts at a fixed price that will be respected until the end of the contract. That on the one hand is very good because it gives stability to the product market, but on the other it means that if the price trend is the same at the end of the year (when to renew contracts as a general rule) we could see a price escalation by 2022.
Market manipulation or inventory build-up?
If everything continues like this and nothing seems to say otherwise given the market for solar panels and its incredible increase in price, polysilicon is going to be a headache for Intel, TSMC and Samsung.
Although the reasons for the price increase, as we have said, are not clear, the first analysts to jump at one have pointed to two different scenarios: market manipulation or inventory accumulation.
In the second case it is difficult to understand, since there is no way to TSMC, Samsung and Intel produce more chips in the face of existing demand. If they do not suffice for this crucial task it is because wafer that arrives wafer that is engraved and sold in chips, ergo it is only understood that there is accumulation of stocks if the wafer production capacity is much higher than the world demand for chips , something complicated in principle.
Market manipulation is not even disproved as such, but of course such a sudden rise in final price is not something you see every day. How could they prove it? Complicated, it would take clues beyond a theory and surely it would take a long time to prove it empirically.
In any case, if this does not slow down (and nothing suggests that it will be like this shortly) in 2022 we will have CPUs and GPUs much more expensive and without speculation involved.