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"Russians short of computer chips" Topic

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35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 9:54 a.m. PST

Subject: Russia is resorting to putting computer chips from dishwashers and refrigerators in tanks due to US sanctions, official says


35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 9:57 a.m. PST

Home appliance chips: refrigerators, washers and microwaves. Well this explains how the Ukrainians are knocking the Russian tanks out so easily. Walk up, push potato, hit quantity 3 and start. I would abandon my tank too. 😉

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 10:16 a.m. PST

Everyone is already short of computer chips. It takes 2 years to get an ambulance built in the US. I'd be surprised if the Chinese don't start selling them chips. Actually, I would be surprised if they aren't already doing it.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 10:56 a.m. PST

There are many factors. We have started building more chip plants here but it will take a while. The pandemic disrupted the shipping process, the Texas winter storms last year disrupted production, demand rose while converting to 5g. Lots of reasons coming together at the same time.

We get a lot of chips from Taiwan, but demand is outstripping supply as tech races ahead. Taiwan's TSMC makes the most, including some of the specialized ones in short supply for now.

1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 11:23 a.m. PST
1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 11:34 a.m. PST

I worked in the computer chip R/D and manufacturing area starting in 1980 at IBM East Fishkill. IBM was TOO successful and dominated the world and US markets. We put out a new cycle of improvement every 4-5 years that wa 1/4 the price and 5X the output of the competitors. … So to prevent the company from being broken up into pieces, IBM divested itself of the illusionary, crazy, "computer in every home" "personal computer" business. IBM was so big that if they manufactured the guts of these things, they would always be 5 steps ahead of the competition, who would have to retro engineer and copy after IBM went into full scale production. So the PC software system controlling software, (which was really top notch) was given to a couple of geeks in Califonria, a college drop out named "Gates". The microprocessor (brain of the computer) was given to a memory chip company called "Intel". We pushed out most of the engineers on that project to that company. IBM emploees had an option to trade in IBM stock from the stock purchase plan for Intel stock- I was in Europe at the time and didn't do that. (it has split how many times?). … The US government has huge amounts of regulations on US manufacturers that are ignored in the far east…. I hired a lot of people and about 1/3 were foreign. American students were too lazy to go into engineering and could make more money in finance or liberal arts AND never wanted to work really hard…… That is why we buy our chips overseas.

1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 11:36 a.m. PST

By the way. Most military equipement chips are not the high tech chips. Big groundrules, simple circuits are more physically stable and rad hard. They are 3-7 generation old technology.

Garand13 May 2022 11:48 a.m. PST

American students were too lazy to go into engineering and could make more money in finance or liberal arts AND never wanted to work really hard

It sounds like they made the right personal choices, & not because they are "lazy…"


SBminisguy13 May 2022 12:01 p.m. PST

American students were too lazy to go into engineering and could make more money in finance or liberal arts AND never wanted to work really hard

More like American companies are greedy and short-sighted. They'd rather hire someone on an H1B Visa from India at 70 cents on the dollar than a US STEM graduate. Perhaps that's why 86 PERCENT of US STEM graduates cannot find work in their STEM field.

Why is that?? Many tech companies in the US are capital equipment light, their single largest expense is labor. So they will spend millions and millions on lobbying to keep the flow of cheaper foreign STEM workers coming in, so they don't have to pay US STEM graduates. Oh, and they have that foreign STEM worker by the balls. Don't like the work load? Conditions kinda suck? Too bad, we won't renew your Visa and you can go back to Bangalore or wherever.

It's totally hypocritical for a company like Microsoft to wax poetic about "investing in the future" and talk up STEM education, and then hire foreign workers on the cheap.

So if you want to have more US kids graduate STEM disciplines, you have to slow the H1B visa flow down.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 12:45 p.m. PST

Garand – thanks for your comment.

$Beminisguy – thanks for your comment.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 1:06 p.m. PST

Wow guys. I thought this would be a light topic as you can tell by my first comment.


Having worked in IT for over 40 years, a lot of it on HR systems and pretty much from 80's on, i feel like I can comment on this.

Each generation was not lazier, (will not speak for the current, but hear many things from small and medium business owners. Will only comment if someone wants to hear their views.) But as to previous generations, they were not lazier, but each seemed to feel more entitled than the previous. Support was a big part of the companies I worked for, you had to support systems 24/7. We knew that and we were told, you paid your dues on support and then as you progressed you either went into management or straight development, no support. The next generation would then pick up the support end. What started happening is more and more of the college graduates would refuse the job if they had to support systems. They only wanted development. So people like me, either were stuck doing it, or attempted to find a new job. Also they started coming out of college demanding the top pay that, that profession garnered in the industry. They did not feel they needed to pay their dues. Companies were forced to give into both demands in order to fulfill their needs. I know they got equal or higher pay then those of us who had been working there, because I wrote and ran payroll reports out of the IT systems. This was not just male employees, women were the same coming out of college. Both sexes making more then those of us who had worked at these companies for years. So lazy, no. Entitled, very much so.

As far as the Indians. Yes the companies got tired of paying big bucks for IT. Most business people seem to view IT as a hindrance or a necessary evil. That is sad, if we "unplugged" their systems, most could not run a company anymore. The amount of the basic business logic that is built into the systems that business no longer has to know or perform is Immense and growing by the year. Try and get an order from inception to out the door, manually. 😉 Anyway, management got greedy and they thought they saw a way to pay dirt cheap IT workers in India to take the jobs and in some cases work overseas and they could work them all kind of hours. Sound like the Slave owners of the old South?
Initially, it was a joke. These guys worked all kind of hours, but what they developed was at best, bad. Plus language was an issue. Although both spoke English, understanding and Comprehension were huge issues. So companies got what they paid for. Today what has started happening is the Indians have improved a lot, but they also realize what they are worth and are starting to get Comparable pay. Of course a lot of kids stopped going into IT, because companies had gotten greedy and were outsourcing to India or here to Indians and the kids saw no future in IT. Managements short sighted business thinking got them into trouble again.

Does it all sound a lot like the manufacturing issues we are all suffering through right now, when companies shipped manufacturing initially to Mexico and eventually to China? How has that worked for all of us?

So I am saying it is really a mix of things and both groups are at fault.

But back to the Russians and home appliance chips. So when they close the hatch on theirs tanks, if they are using refrigerator chip, do the lights go out?
If a washer chip, can you put the turret on spin? 😉

Stryderg13 May 2022 1:16 p.m. PST

I would be wary of using microwave chips to run a tank!

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 1:21 p.m. PST

I think the article says refrigerator and washer. I just made a joke about the microchip. I think 1945 has an article on this today too. Heard the story originally on radio news this morning. It does seem a bit odd to be using business appliance chips.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 1:49 p.m. PST

Well this is all over the news now. Just type "Russians use appliance chips" or something similar.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 3:25 p.m. PST

Also, I will say, related to my large post, if your comments are specific to engineering and chips, than my comments are not relevant, as I do not know Engineering. My comments related to American students and Indian outsourcing relating to IT. I always associate chips and IT.

JMcCarroll13 May 2022 4:25 p.m. PST

"Russia Captain to lead tank, get moving!"

"Lead tank to Captain, sorry sir but we are in rinse cycle!"

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 4:28 p.m. PST

More and more Russia seems like a 1960s country fighting a 21st Century War.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 4:40 p.m. PST

JMcCarroll +1🙂

Garand13 May 2022 5:46 p.m. PST

35thOVI, I think one thing you should keep in mind is that the cost of college has risen exponentially in the last 40 years too. 40 years ago was 1980, when (according to some people that like to think kids these days are lazy) you could pay for your year of college with a part time job, going to a state school, & have a bit of money left over on the side for living expenses. I graduated in 2002 & the idea I could pay for college out of pocket (I went to Penn State & another smaller state school) was laughably ludicrous. The problem is even worse now. So I think the idea of students being "entitled" may be correct if you don't have the crushing debt that current graduates, & graduates from the last couple of decades, have.

Gotta start at the bottom? But how do I pay for these student loans? How long do I have to defer buying a house, starting a family, buying a NEW car? The problems of debt of the current generations are significantly more burdensome than they were 40 years ago, & I think that has to be taken into account in the analysis.


35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 6:17 p.m. PST

Garand I understand your point. The cost of Colleges are Ridiculous. People putting up with it is ludicrous. I think it is time people demand that government stop giving taxpayer money to colleges, until they come into line with reality. Individually, don't donate money to your Alma mater, until they get in line with reality. Also do what I did and what I made my children do. I stayed home and commuted to a local college. I worked 24 hours a week when I went full time and worked full time whenever the opportunity arouse. I made both my kids do the same. I paid car insurance and gas and obviously they lived at home. Also do your first 2 years at a community college where you can transfer credits. Once I graduated, I worked 40 to 50 hours a week and was still taking 2 courses at the same time for the first 6 years. If enough people refuse to kowtow to the out of control and out of reality costs of today's collages, they will eventually come around to the reality we have to live in. But until we all do that, they will continue to abuse ourselves and our children, I totally agree with you.

Pendekar13 May 2022 6:54 p.m. PST

It's not just Russia… ASML (a big supplier of the equipment used to make electronics chips) is doing it too…


Meaning there is such a shortage of chips that we can't even make the equipment needed to increase the capacity to make more chips…

Also for the company I work at, with our quotations for another manufacturing run of of some of our products, we have some chips that are hard to find and a few chips that are quoted as $17.00 USD each when the last production run was only $1.70 USD. Most are normal.. but a few products are either expensive or hard to find.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2022 7:25 p.m. PST

Interesting. Can't read it all without a subscription. Supposedly they are building a chip manufacturing facility around Columbus. But who knows how long that will take.
I just looked, it is Intel.

Pendekar13 May 2022 8:07 p.m. PST

TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor, who makes advanced chips for many fabless semiconductor companies) is building a new plant in Arizona.
Announced May 2020
Started Construction June 2021
Expected to be complete in Early 2024

By comparison, their plants in Asia usually take about 2 years..


These are the same article as my previous post at other sites.
(I fins all of these news sites requiring a subscription to read quite annoying.. maybe they should just have some easy payment plan to pay 50 cents to read an article or something. And then they always pop up with "You have reached your limit of free articles..")



35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2022 5:23 a.m. PST

Pendecker thanks for the articles. The labor shortage in this country seems to be extreme. There is not a business in my area that does NOT have "now hiring" signs out. It has been that way for over a year. Employers say people sign up for interviews and don't show up. If they hire someone, many times they only work a few weeks and then quit. The work ethic of many they get, seems to be not very high. This seems to be in all industries, fast food, retail, manufacturing, even to the funeral industry. I have a friend who is a part owner of a local funeral home. He just semi retired last week. Said he was fed up. Can't get employees, even though they pay top pay in the business. When they do, they tell him they won't work weekends and evenings. It is the funeral industry! People don't die normal hours. 😂 But managers and owners of other businesses have said about the same thing. That is why I did not comment on the current generation. Of course this is just what I see and hear in Ohio,
Kentucky and Indiana. Maybe it is somehow different elsewhere.

Add to this the supply chain disaster, shortages and the extreme prices of regular gas and diesel fuels.

I can understand the difficulties your articles speak of.

How will we replace all those Javelins and other weapons we have given to the Ukraine with the lack of chips?

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2022 6:05 a.m. PST

35th the answer is that the shortage is not permanent. We will get by. But I have posted before about new chip factories building in the US. As with batteries and other components of our future, we are well positioned to transition into the next eras in energy and tech. I think we will also solve supply issues around the metals we need.
Inflation is not permanent either. We are better off than any other country on earth when you factor in all the quality of life components. We are world leaders in many things, including complaining and fighting over politics.
The government mostly stopped working years ago, only does culture warfare and personal gain. The infrastructure bill an exception. But the private sector marches on.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2022 6:28 a.m. PST

Morning Tort. You are the Optimism to my Pessimism. 😉 The Ying to my Yang. As always I hope you are right. It would bode better for my future. 🙂

Anyway I was just putting these up for Pendecker when I saw your post. I remembered these articles recently. Take care Tort, have a good day. Hope mine is better the ln Friday the 13th was for my family.

Subject: Dollar Tree manager out of a job after posting sign lamenting Gen Z's work ethic: 'Boomers ONLY' | Fox Business


Another version for those who don't like Fox. I know the fast food jobs in my area are offering $13 USD to $15 USD an hour for employees as they post them on their signs and fast food is a entry level jobs, that in my day were filled by teens in high school, including my wife and me at 16. The other jobs in my area are much higher and have full benefits. Also, no job in any of my time in the working world, paid for your child care. We all had to pay our own childcare. I do not understand why companies should pay that now. Having a child in most cases is a personal choice and not the companies responsibility.

Subject: Dollar Tree Manager Who Posted a Sign Bashing Gen Z's Work Ethic Loses Job


Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2022 6:53 p.m. PST

We went through some times in the 70s. I made 1.60 an hour in 1973 working my way through college, but you could not even by gas all the time that year,and it was expensive… and there was a limit on number of gallons you could buy on your assigned day to get gas.

I remember around that time that inflation was so bad that Nixon had to enact a national price freeze on everything. Then in 79, another oil crisis and gas was well over $4.00 USD a gallon in today's money, if you could get it, it took about 5 years to go back down.
I had some lean years until I went to work for the government in 88 and made a living wage, although I did not work at a desk.
$15 USD an hour today would be a little over minimum wage in 1972. Employers need to deal with higher wages and lower profits for now if they want workers. That's how the free market works.
But I also see a lot of well off kids, more than I used to, who don't need to work, don't get it. Entitled,I think they call it. Must be nice,I think.
Dollar Tree will have a hard time replacing that manager! They should have told him not to do it again and sent him back to work.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2022 7:21 p.m. PST

American students were too lazy to go into engineering and could make more money in finance or liberal arts AND never wanted to work really hard

This could only be said by someone who has never worked in finance.

And how do you make more money in liberal arts than engineering? The only way to make money in liberal arts is to teach it, and college faculty salaries are notoriously low.

A liberal arts undergraduate degree will get you into non-STEM professional schools, like law, business, or accounting, and those professionals are probably better paid than engineers. Again, however, the idea that professional school students and people working in professions that require advanced degrees work less hard than engineers is based either in ignorance or agenda. Or both, I suppose.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa15 May 2022 2:52 a.m. PST

Were I work finally woke up to the demographic time bomb it was sitting on and hurriedly instituted a new graduate programme a few years back. By and large no different from me and my contemporaries of 20+ years ago. Still wet behind the ears for the first 6-months etc.

Personally I think a lot of the problems at least in the UK boil down to over reliance on the service sector. Plus some demographic issues and some distortions arising from government policy. In-work poverty is an issue – at least in part down to the Uks stupidly inflated property costs.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2022 6:53 a.m. PST

Agree on liberal arts, a ticket to poverty! But they can read and write better than some engineers and that still has some value, I suppose. In the end they mostly head off to graduate school for another degree if they want to eat.

Pendekar15 May 2022 8:16 a.m. PST

One comment on the part about students being too lazy to study engineering.
This itself does not prevent having large wafer fabs in the US. Most of the jobs do not need engineering degrees. Yes, there needs to be a good Engineering team and a good Maintenance team, but the majority of the manufacturing techs do not require degrees technical or otherwise.
Yes, Intel requires all of it's fab technicians to have degrees, but Maxim Where I worked as a fab technician didn't require that. A degree might be helpful to show that the employees have been motivated before they came, but in the end the job is quite simply being able to follow simple instructions again and again.
(Take the batch of wafers in a cassette, read the program from the work flow, Load the correct program, double check the program, double check the wafer id matches the cassette and paperwork and press start.) In a more modern fab, this would mostly be completed from scanning the wafer cassette and the program would load automatically.
There are additional things to learn, but most can be completed by a high school graduate from my experience.

I think the main thing is that the pay is quite good (for not really requiring a degree), and that other labor markets can get away with paying a much lower cost.

Now, if you are talking about the design center for the chips that would be another story, but there are more companies that design chips in the US and have them manufactured by others (known as fabless semiconductor companies), so it is more the manufacturing issue than an engineering issue.
Also, the requirements for environmental protection and workers health are higher in the US.

That Dollar Tree story is interesting. It is strange how our society seems in some ways to be degenerating.

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