Global Semiconductor Shortage Affects Yamaha’s Musical Instrument Business

Manufacturers of cars, computers and video game systems are just some of the companies affected by the global chip shortage. The COVID-19 pandemic, the trade dispute between the United States and China, extreme weather conditions and factory fires are just some of the causes that have been mentioned.

While it’s too early to tell how badly the music tech sector will be affected this year, the metrics aren’t good either.

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Yamaha musical instrument hit by semiconductor shortage

On Thursday, July 21, Yamaha President Takuya Nakata was interviewed on Nikkei CNBC television. He said that while the instrument industry was able to replace silicon in some items, the kit they got resulted in poor tone in other instruments, according to The Register report.

The company’s problems are compounded as a fire at chip supplier Yamaha Asahi Kasei Microdevices in 2020 had severely affected the company’s supply chain.

As noted in its annual report for the fiscal year that ended March 31, product supply limitations are expected to persist to some extent into the following fiscal year. This is due to difficulties in acquiring semiconductors, such as sound-generating LSIs, and logistical disruptions.

How does the chip shortage affect the business

The register mentioned that opportunity losses in the previous fiscal year amounted to about 35 billion yen ($253 million). Nakata predicted that the company would likely lose around 30 billion yen this fiscal year as well.

Surprising increase in revenue amid pandemic

According to Nakata, wealthy Chinese consumers have kept piano sales high during the pandemic. The company also claimed in its annual report that its revenue increased 9.5% from the previous year, totaling around $3 billion.

Read more: Shortage of chips creates a problem for BMW: cars will be without Android Auto or CarPlay

The chip shortage has not only affected Yamaha; Other musical instrument manufacturers also suffered

MusicRadar noted that one of the latest companies to highlight how the semiconductor supply shortage has affected their business is Behringer.

“We are sorry that shipping the products is taking much longer than expected,” the company said on Facebook. “But chip shortages are very tough, and what it looks like, 2022 won’t see much improvement.”

Although the company claims to have all the chips needed to manufacture Syncussion, a knockoff of Pearl’s 1979 Syncussion SY-1 drum synthesizer, it also claims that shortages are holding back many of its other products.

Separately, MusicRadar also reported that the chip shortage issue has impacted another music company. Erica Synths announced in December that the Perkons HD-01 drum machine, which was originally expected to be available in late 2021, will now not be available until late 2022 due to lack of microcontrollers.

However, there are also positive aspects to this news. On the plus side, the company says the extra development time allowed it to improve the Perkons user interface in hopes of making it an even better product.

Related article: PS5 shortages could be over soon – or is that just wishful thinking?