On top of the global shortage of semiconductors, passive components are also seeing undersupply as COVID looms large in Southeast Asia, where suppliers are forced to manufacture at lower capacity.
Aluminum capacitors used in 5G, work-from-home electronics, electric vehicles (EV), and renewable energy tech are increasingly in demand, whereas top suppliers of aluminum capacitor have undergone facility shutdown and capacity reduction in the past few months. Japan-based Chemi-Con and Nichicon had to close its facilities in Malaysia in July and August. The two Japanese suppliers, plus Rubycon, who has production facilities in Indonesia, have over 50% market share of the world's aluminum capacitor. Another Japan-based main supplier of solid-state capacitors in Malaysia is Panasonic.
After going through lockdowns in July and August, Chemi-Con and Nichicon recovered only 60% of manpower on site, capping utilization rate. They are the main suppliers for car applications, gaming devices, servers, and base stations. Reduced utilization rates and production capacity, however, have posed some significant challenges with lead times prolonged to over six months. The COVID situation in Malaysia could lead to about 30-60% decrease in shipments, according to industry sources.