Chip crisis – container shortage – supply chain disruption: The current situation in global commodity trade and especially in the market for IT hardware is presented by the press in dramatic terms. But how dire is the situation really?
The supply situation for certain IT hardware, especially chips for processors and graphics cards, was already tense before the corona pandemic. The immediate effects and the aftermath of the pandemic and the associated shutdowns have significantly exacerbated the situation. In addition, other IT components and raw materials are now affected by shortages. For example, substrates needed for the production of computer chips and motherboards are sometimes in absolute scarcity. As of summer 2021, the situation will not improve in the short term; on the contrary. Intel, the world’s largest producer of processors, expects production to halve in Q3 and Q4 compared to the same quarters last year. All this in the face of significantly higher demand, driven by accelerated digitalisation and catch-up effects in the industry.
Impact on Prime Computer
As you can already guess, this all has an impact on Prime Computer. In specific terms, this is reflected in delayed or even completely cancelled deliveries of motherboards that we install in our mini-PCs and servers. This is then reflected in the lack of availability of certain configurations.
So the situation is indeed difficult. Prime Computer is not given preferential treatment by very large suppliers such as Intel as a smaller manufacturer. Understandably, these suppliers deliver first to customers like HP or Lenovo, who buy millions of computer chips every year. As a small competitor, we can compensate for these disadvantages with flexibility and speed. So, immediately after the announcement of supply restrictions for our motherboards, we set about developing alternatives with better available components. Especially because Prime Computer sells its products in the B2B sector, the forecast of medium to long-term product availability is hugely important.
A product offensive as a response
The chip crisis, therefore, also has its good sides. Prime Computer customers can look forward to a product offensive in summer 2021. We will present mini-PCs in new form factors, with Intel and, for the first time, AMD processors and even a completely new product category.
The first of these will be a mini-PC with an Intel Core i5 processor at the end of July, which we have developed in response to the limited availability of the PrimeMini 5 i5. So it’s worth checking the Prime Computer website regularly or following our social media channels.