The specter of product allocation could soon rear its ugly head yet again for users of semiconductors, as well as for fabless chip companies.
That became clear at the International Electronics Forum, held earlier this month in Geneva and organized by Future Horizons.
Allocation, of course, is a double-edged sword. It could work wonders for the woeful profitability of some in the industry; it allows chip suppliers to charge higher prices for their products, and foundries to demand more for their
services. But it also leaves those not classed a tier one client--on the scale of, say, a Broadcom or Qualcomm--in the back of the queue.
The prospect of big changes in inventory management, even allocation, positively cheered some delegates at the forum. Some were heard to whisper, if not shout aloud, words to the effect of, "Hey, bring it on!"
Of course, it should come as no surprise that we are likely to reach this stage again, especially to the old-timers in the sector who have survived the dips and rises that have characterized the chip industry almost since its start.
As we are reminded over and again, the industry has rarely invested so little in additional capacity, and taken out so much capacity in so relatively short a time, as in the past year or so.