Why it matters: Whenever a new CPU, GPU or mobile device is introduced, chips are the star of the screen, but there is one element that is just as important but often overlooked unless the shortage causes a production problem. This is a modest capacitor that is used in nearly every device that uses electricity.
The lack of everything from advanced chips to the $1 display driver chips that use nearly every digital device we use has caused a great deal of grief in the tech and auto industry. Things seem to be getting worse as the Covid-19 infection threatens to overwhelm the essential electronic components found in any electronic device. According to the Wall Street Journal, capacitors are the latest electronic component where supply is declining while demand is stronger than ever. In particular, this is the case for multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), which are used in many different applications, especially high density printed circuit boards. Small components under a desktop CPU or the back of an MLCC graphics card are responsible for ensuring a stable voltage when power consumption increases.
Re-locking in Asia threatens supply of critical ceramic parts as well as chips