Qualcomm’s Processors Are in High Demand—and Short Supply

Around this time last year, the market saw a huge uptick in . At the same time, automotive companies were ramping up chip demand for vehicle production. As work-from-home orders taper and automotive production crescendos in 2021, .


<img src="https://www.ele-instock.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20210330_606337638fdc5.jpg" style="border:solid 1px #CDCDCD; height:394px; width:700px" alt="Qualcomm’s Processors Are in High Demand—and Short Supply” />

Chip shortage's effect on automotive stocks. Image used courtesy of Bloomberg and

One company that has been particularly affected by the shortage is Qualcomm, the California-based manufacturer best known for its wireless technology chips for smartphones. How has Qualcomm's chip production slowdown affected smartphone design and the telecom sector at large? 


Demand Soars for Qualcomm Chips

As Android phone manufacturers try to win over consumers abandoning Huawei products, demand for Qualcomm’s chips has increased exponentially over the last few months.

Qualcomm has struggled to meet this demand, however, due to the shortage of some of the subcomponents used in its chips, meaning that . 

In fact, Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, has delayed the rollout of some models. More specifically, the South Korean tech giant is experiencing a shortage of Qualcomm’s application processors, which sit at the core of the Samsung phones. 


<img src="https://www.ele-instock.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20210330_60633763b9d47.jpg" style="border:solid 1px #CDCDCD; height:394px; width:700px" alt="Qualcomm’s Processors Are in High Demand—and Short Supply” />

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. Image used courtesy of

According to Reuters, a source at Samsung said that the . Another source says that there’s also a shortage of but did not say whether this is what is causing problems for Samsung. 


Factors in Slow Down: Snapdragon and Storms

The Snapdragon 888 is still a relatively new technology fabricated using the 5nm process, which is difficult to scale up quickly in response to spikes in demand. There’s also the fact that last month’s storms forced Samsung’s Texas chip plant, where some of Qualcomm’s radio frequency transceivers are made, . 

Despite all of this, Qualcomm, which recently , is confident that it will hit its Q2 2021 sales forecast published in February . 


<img src="https://www.ele-instock.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20210330_60633763ca401.jpg" style="border:solid 1px #CDCDCD; height:159px; width:692px" alt="Qualcomm’s Processors Are in High Demand—and Short Supply” />

Qualcomm revenue streams by industry. Image used courtesy of

Roadblocks in Taiwan-based Production

The semiconductor shortage continues to dominate headlines with recent developments seeing TSMC auction off its excess wafer capacity at a 15-20% premium. Meanwhile, the . 

There were also fears that a drought in Taiwan, , could further fuel the semiconductor shortage. Despite Taiwanese officials saying that there’s enough water to last until May, Qualcomm’s incoming CEO believes that .



How have chip manufacturing holdups affected your design cycles? Have any of your projects been slowed down because of these global shortages? Share your experiences in the comments below.