If you haven’t already heard, there’s a global semiconductor chip shortage that’s affecting most manufacturers globally. Now, if you’re wondering what that has to do with sex toys, it’s important to keep reading.
What exactly is a semiconductor microchip?
A microchip is a set of electronic circuits, which act as switches to turn electrical currents on and off. These chips are capable of controlling many aspects of an electronic tech device. A chip shortage radiates effects throughout not only computer and phone manufacturers, but also automobiles, children’s toys, and sex toys.
The demand for microchips has drastically skyrocketed for the last decade, as we have had more personal electronic items being used in businesses and households consistently. These semiconductor microchips are in so many products that we don’t consider, especially smaller devices. Cars also use them in vast quantities, as they upgrade and add high-tech screens and electronic systems that we haven’t had before.
While automobile companies and manufacturers were hit hard first by the chip shortage, consumer electronics have been feeling the hit as well, especially with so many people at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has spiked the purchase and use of various electronic items that would not have been bought in such vastly large quantities prior. Laptops, video game consoles, upgraded phones, sex toys, and other items being purchased more frequently strained the supply chain of these semiconductor microchips.
While some companies have stocked up in the face of the dwindling chip supply, this has created a higher cost of not only the chips, but the items and components used to make them. They are also becoming more scarce, due to the difficulty and expense of creating foundries and sourcing materials to manufacture the microchips.
How Does Chip Shortage Affect Sex Toy Industry?
Many brands have been forced to redesign and put a hold on upgrading products, because the shortage has created uncertainty that the availability of items is going to be there. Most products that V For Vibes and other sex toy companies sell have around 30 different electronic components, and this includes semiconductor microchips.
Even though we’ve stockpiled as much as we can, we know that this shortage could affect both us and other sex toy companies drastically in the long term. We are bracing for shortages for at least the next two years. Of course, there are only a few manufacturers for these chips, and building another foundry can cost billions of dollars, so it is so important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, even if that isn’t what happens.
Microchips are primarily manufactured in Asian countries such as Taiwan, South Korea, and China. Chinese tech companies have experienced sanctions from the United States government, which makes these chips even harder and scarcer to acquire. Our hope is that in the next few years, more manufacturers arise to help meet the competing demand for semiconductor microchips. The reality is that people will continue to buy electronics and tech goods, and as we become more technologically advanced, the need for these chips will continue to rise. Either we find a way to supply the demand, or we lose the ability to advance our world.
With fully electric cars continuing to surge in popularity, upgraded phones being a yearly occurrence, sex toys being a constant purchase, and tablets and computers consistently upgraded for work, the demand for items that utilize these chips is ever-growing.