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The world of technology has been continuously evolving throughout the years. However, the year 2021, seems to be in the grips of a global chip shortage. The demand for semiconductors has surged far beyond capacity for supply.
This chip shortage has been affecting numerous industrial companies — from automotive to smartphones and all those in-between. However, the automotive field has it the worst.
For example, Ford has predicted the shortage will result in a $2.5 billion loss in productions. The automaker uses chips for its onboard computers. Such as antilock brake systems and speedometers. Ford further predicts their production to fall by half in the second quarter of the year.
According to Bloomberg, one of the industry’s inside jokes says “It’s not rocket science — it’s much more difficult.”
It takes years to build semiconductor fabrication factories and billions of dollars. Not to mention the time and effort it takes to create a chip. President Joe Biden plans to revive domestic manufacturing in the United States — thus building a secure supply chain in America.
In its latest five-year plan, China has called chip independence a top priority. Even the European Union is considering measures to make its own chips.
It generally takes over three months to manufacture a chip. This involves giant factories, multi-million-dollar machines, dust-free rooms, lasers, and molten tin.
The ultimate goal is to turn wafers of silicon — an element created from plain sand — into a network of billions of transistors. These tiny switches form the basis of the circuitry that will eventually give a computer, car, washing machine, satellite, or phone crucial capabilities.
Apple has had to delay the release of its new iPhone due to the shortage. Even Elon Musk’s Telsa company has had a stall in production due to this.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Fortune: This is how the global chip shortage will end; by Eamon Barret
Bloomberg: The Chip Shortage Keeps Getting Worse. Why Can’t We Just Make More?; by Ian King, Adrian Leung, and Demetrios Pogkas
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of osde8info’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Andrew Baron’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License