I hear it from more and more industry contacts. There's a growing chips shortage in the semiconductor sector. It's been created by the economic run-on effects of a pandemic plus Brexit.

We're talking FPGA, voltage regs, D/A converters, digital receivers, opamps, PGA and all else living on an IC as the basic building block of modern electronic life. Like in all seller's markets, it's cash-rich accounts which can continue to play, here by ordering 100'000 of this and 50'000 of that to be first in line when shortages rebound.

The little guys will either be forced to splurge which passes on their higher cost of doing business to the end user; or stomach far higher per-unit pricing – if their short orders get any response at all. Either way, same effect. It's in fact likely that parts prices will increase for one and all. Whenever the tides turn and sellers not buyers control the market, that's what tends to happen. Good morning capitalism!

So… if you're not playing foxy footies already but still fence sit on personal hifi decisions… you'd best be going, soonest. If I read these tea leaves right, stiff inflation is just 'round the bend. It's fishy and nothing to be chipper about but seems unavoidable. Plan according and act now; or prepare for serious price increases across the board. That hasn't mentioned yet the very inevitable delays behind new product launches. Those will be stalled until the present parts freeze thaws. Perhaps get something that's available today rather than pin your hopes on a delayed tomorrow?

Happy days? Probably not so much but the next Ice Age would be worse; far worse. There's always sticking to what we already have and being happy with that?

On second thought, that's not the sentiment which keeps any review mag busy cranking out articles on new products. So forget I said it. Okay?