Understanding the Global Chip Shortage

Many consumer products, including cars, computers, and smart devices of all sorts, have been affected by a global chip shortage that began in 2020, due in part to pandemic-related disruptions in the global supply chain.  

“The components in a semiconductor can travel well over 50,000 kilometers and cross more than 70 international borders before a chip finally reaches its end customer,” writes Mark Harris, citing a report from the Global Semiconductor Alliance. 

In this article, Harris explores the complicated semiconductor ecosystem, examining critical points in the production chain along with proposed incentives to increase production, such as $52 billion included in the America COMPETES Act and the EU’s €43-billion European Chips Act.

As U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo states, “The semiconductor supply chain is very fragile, and it’s going to remain that way until we can increase chip production.” 

Read more at IEEE Spectrum.