Source: Shutterstock.com/Sundry Photography
Source: Shutterstock.com/Sundry Photography
News + TrendsSmartphone

No fear of chip shortage: MediaTek targets US market

Richard Müller
Zurich, on 22.04.2021
Translation: Eva Francis
The global chip shortage has already affected a handful of manufacturers. Market leader MediaTek won't let this hold them back – on the contrary.

«So far it's gone very well,» says Patrick Wilson, public policy and government relations leader for MediaTek USA Inc., in an interview with tech blog LightReading.

The Taiwan-based company doesn’t expect the semiconductor shortage to affect shipments to smartphone makers such as Xiaomi and Samsung, Wilson further explained. He adds that MediaTek doesn’t expect the situation to affect smartphone sales – including the new 5G-enabled devices – in the coming months.

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MediaTek supplies so-called systems-on-a-chip (SoC) to the electronics industry. The company has recently been working to expand its smartphone business. It supplies its semiconductor products to a large number of smartphone manufacturers, who equip not only low-end devices with them. This strategy seems to have paid off: the company recently overtook San Diego-based Qualcomm as the world's largest supplier of SoCs for smartphones. These account for about a third of MediaTek's business.

«We’re the No. 1»

«We're really growing a lot,» Wilson said. «MediaTek – we're the No. 1 in Asia, we're the No. 1 in Indonesia, India, and the Middle East and South America – we're the No. 1 cell phone provider in all of those other regions. But in the US we're not. And so that's our ambition.»

Wilson explained that the chipset shortage doesn't affect high-end smartphone chips that MediaTek produces for its customers. The company designs those chips itself and then supplies the designs to companies such as Samsung, GlobalFoundries and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), who build the chips according to those plans. As Wilson states, the shortage mainly affects low-end chips and other electronic sensors used in devices ranging from cars to PCs.

Demand for these chips has skyrocketed for various reasons, he said, from the trade war between the US and China to sudden expectations of a rapid economic recovery after the pandemic. At the same time, the supply of these chips has been affected by unexpected events such as a massive factory fire in Japan, cold weather in the southern US and drought in Taiwan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Richard Müller
Richard Müller
Teamleader Editorial, Zurich
I'm a journalist with over 20 years of experience in various positions, mostly in online journalism. The tool I rely on for my work? A laptop – preferably connected to the Internet. In fact, I also enjoy taking apart laptops and PCs, repairing and refitting them. Why? Because it's fun!

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