Not to worry, says IBM’s Chief Technologist in a piece carried in Reuters yesterday:
IBM Chief Technologist Bernard Meyerson put the supply situation in greater perspective: the hafnium in a cubic centimeter, the size of a small sugar cube, could be spread across 10 U.S. football fields worth of silicon wafers used to make chips. “That assumes a 50-atom-high pile of it,” said Meyerson, “which frankly would be an extraordinarily large amount for materials like this one. That amount will go down over time.”
And since the material actually put into the chips will be hafnium oxide, not hafnium, the supply should stretch even further.
Most of the 50 tons of hafnium produced in the world each year goes to nuclear controls rods right now, with the rest going to jet engine metals.