Chip shortages occur every year, especially this year. Since entering the second half of the year, the supply and demand of chips in various fields has been very tense, and Apple’s power chips are also out of stock. Since the launch of the iPhone 12, the shortage of chips has spread wildly in the field of consumer power supply, and has become more and more serious.
It has been observed that the shortage of chips has become a major industrial event in the field of consumer power supply in recent years. No matter the original chip manufacturers, solution providers, fast charging factories and brand makers, they are all disturbed by the shortage.
1、 Why are fast charging chips out of stock?
The word “chip out of stock” rarely appears in the field of consumer power supply. Even if it appears, it may only be a short-term shortage of some chips in a certain family.
For power chips, there are many substitutable competitive products. Generally, the shortage can be alleviated by replacing materials, and it will not become such a mass industry event.
Why is there a shortage of fast charging chips this year?
From the external environment, it is the lack of production capacity of upstream wafer plants.
According to reports, the orders of TSMC, liandian, world advanced, and richtronics in the fourth quarter have been fully filled. In the first half of next year, the capacity of advanced and mature processes has been fully reserved by customers.
We also confirmed this statement from the original factory of the fast charging chip. At present, the delivery time of the fast charging chip is generally more than three months.
This also indicates that this year’s shortage is different from the past, not only in a wide range, but also in a very long period of time.
From the perspective of the fast charging power industry, it is understood that 20wpd fast charging chips are the most affected by this shortage storm, and the direct cause of chip shortage is the listing of iPhone 12 series mobile phones.
Because for the new iPhone 12, only with 20W and above PD fast charging charger can full speed charging be realized, and in this process, usbpd fast charging protocol chip plays a decisive role.
According to statistics, Apple has 14 mobile phones that support usbpd fast charging. Since the launch of the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 series and the three old models on the official website are no longer free of chargers, which makes the 20wpd fast charging charger a popular product in consumer power supply.
Another industry analyst pointed out that the shipment volume of iPhone 12 series mobile phones in 2020 is expected to reach 75 million units, and the strategy of not standard charger is bound to cause a huge market gap, which will lead to a tight supply of iPhone fast charging accessories, and even lead to a blowout of 20wpd fast charging accessories in the short term.
Compared with Apple’s official 20wpd fast charging charger, which costs 149 yuan, many third-party parts manufacturers control the price at 39-79 yuan. Even some products with premium brands are much cheaper than Apple’s official products.
So many consumers will abandon Apple’s official products and choose third-party accessories instead. This has also created a new and huge 20wpd fast charging market, and a large number of third-party accessory manufacturers have taken advantage of it, resulting in a sudden surge in demand for 20wpd fast charging chips.
For the fast charging chip manufacturers and solution providers, on the one hand, some manufacturers did not plan the 20wpd fast charging scheme in advance because of insufficient prediction of the fast charging market. They did not expect that the 20wpd fast charging market would be so fierce.
According to the sales data obtained from tmall / Taobao, many third-party 20wpd fast chargers have sold more than 10000 units in 30 days, and the monthly sales volume of Anker tmall flagship store alone has exceeded 60000 units, which is very amazing.
On the other hand, even if some manufacturers launched the 20wpd fast charging scheme ahead of time, they did not fully guarantee 100% compatibility before the launch of the iPhone 12 series, so they were in a relatively conservative state in terms of the preparation of the scheme; however, after verifying the compatibility, they could just catch up with the market of the wafer manufacturers. Especially for the usbpd fast charging protocol chip, the contradiction between supply and demand is particularly prominent.
2、 Status quo of 20wpd fast charging market
In today’s 20wpd fast charging power supply market, the era of cash is no longer there. And “money without goods, offer without delivery” has become the status quo of 20wpd fast charging industry chain.
The above is a circle of friends released by a fast charging employee of usbpd. Although the picture is funny, it is a true portrayal of the current situation of the industry. Some commentators said that they should go directly to the packaging factory to wait for the delivery date, while others thought that everything was in vain.
“Urgent notice: under the influence of peripheral factors such as wafers, the shortage will continue. Follow up supply will give priority to high-quality customers with good payment, and do not receive urgent orders! I hope everyone can understand and support each other.
“The official announced three times that all chips of XX are seriously out of stock. Please make a plan and line up.”.
In the case of chip shortage, price increase has become an inevitable result. At present, a number of chip manufacturers in the industry have posted price adjustment notices, and the range of price increase includes orders that have been placed but not yet delivered.
“Shortage and price increase is a foregone conclusion; if you have money, you don’t necessarily have it; if you don’t have a plan, you don’t necessarily have it; if you still have it, it’s the best news…”.
3、 How to alleviate the shortage situation
In the face of the increasingly tense supply and demand of 20wpd fast charging chips, how can fast charging power plants stand out and find a way to break the situation? At present, there are two common ways to deal with it in the industry. One is to find a new and stable 20wpd fast charging solution, and the other is to replace the existing 20wpd fast charging chip with full-function chip.
In terms of supply stability, such as awesome technology, the veteran power chip manufacturer, based on its own product development experience, it has launched a complete set of high integration 20WPD fast charging scheme. Through active communication with upstream foundries, the supply chain of the later stage will provide enough chip demand to effectively alleviate the current shortage of 20WPD fast charging chips.
Coincidentally, in the face of the shortage of 20wpd fast charging protocol chip, the leading domestic chip enterprise Xinhai Technology has also launched a usbpd fast charging protocol chip css34p16, which can provide a complete usbtype-c and USB power supply port control solution for adapter, vehicle charger, mobile power supply and other applications.
In the search for alternative chips, 20wpd fast charging scheme is more optional. For example, AC-DC power supply scheme, the current mainstream 20wpd fast charging are highly integrated design, in the case of shortage, you can choose a higher power specification of the power chip to replace, at the same time, you can also change the highly integrated power supply scheme to separate device design scheme.
For the most scarce protocol core, the DFP (downstream facing port) controller is used in the current PD fast charging charger, which only needs to be responsible for external power supply. When DFP controller is in short supply, DRP (dual roleport) controller for mobile power supply is an effective alternative.
According to incomplete statistics, there are 15 mainstream DRP two-way usbpd fast charging protocol chips on the market, which are from 9 fast charging chip brands, including cypress, Xinhai, Chengyi, tiandeyu, lederi, Liyi, Nanxin, Shilan and Youwei technology.
However, it should be noted that although it is theoretically feasible to replace the existing 20wpd fast charging scheme with higher specification chips, fast charging power supply manufacturers must consider the product development difficulty, manufacturing cost and pricing strategy of terminal products.
4、 The impact of chip out of stock
Industry analysts said that the upstream 8-inch wafer OEM capacity is expected to ease by the middle of 2021. We also learned that most of the chip manufacturers that can provide 20wpd fast charging solutions are basically in the state of being expedited by customers and Continuously Expediting to upstream Fabs and packaging plants. It’s hard to make bricks without straw. No matter how good the design is, without enough chips to support it, everything is in vain.
Nowadays, the key to the shortage of 20wpd fast charging chip is the protocol chip. At the same time, the tight relationship between supply and demand will also cause the unsalable power chips, so even if the power chips are in sufficient stock, the later shipment will be greatly affected.
For fast charging factories, the shortage of chip supply causes many manufacturers not to control the order volume, and the system cost of a single product will also increase. Some factories even fail to buy chips, resulting in the normal progress of 20wpd fast charging product project.
For some brands, the brand premium space of 20wpd fast charging new products is large, so even if the subsequent production costs have increased, it can still guarantee enough profit space, and will not affect the price of terminal products due to the shortage of chips. At the same time, consumers don’t have to worry about the price rise of 20wpd fast charging. What’s more, in addition to 20wpd fast charging, there are more and more high-power fast charging products for everyone to choose from.
Editor in charge ajx