The drought in chip availability that has hit auto production, raised electronics prices and stoked supply-chain worries in capitals around the globe has a new pain point: a lack of chips needed for the machines that make chips.
The wait time it takes to get machinery for chip-making—one of the world’s most complex and delicate kinds of manufacturing—has extended over recent months. Early in the pandemic it took months from placing an order to receiving the equipment. That time frame has stretched to 2 or 3 years in some cases. Deliveries of previously placed orders are also coming in late.