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A holistic approach will solve the silicon chip dilemma

The production of semiconductors, also known as chips, has become a strategic priority in Europe as well as the United States, after the shock of the pandemic choked off supply
The production of semiconductors, also known as chips, has become a strategic priority in Europe as well as the United States, after the shock of the pandemic choked off supply - Copyright AFP François WALSCHAERTS
The production of semiconductors, also known as chips, has become a strategic priority in Europe as well as the United States, after the shock of the pandemic choked off supply - Copyright AFP François WALSCHAERTS

A group of billionaires are looking to invest in chip-making across the U.S. signal the continuing shortage of chips and the impact on a vast array of businesses. In a sense, the new also demonstrates that the global chip shortage has gone mainstream.

The problem started in the coronavirus pandemic, when demand outstripped supply and businesses have been struggling to catch up ever since.

This is supported by research issued by Supplyframe, in terms of the shortage of computer chips reaching wider public consciousness. The research reveals that 47 percent of consumers indicate they are familiar with the automotive chip shortage.

Computer chips have been in short supply for a couple of years. The chips perform various functions in modern products, and there are often more than one in a single device. With fewer chip to go around, consumers have faced delays.

In addition to this tally, a further 32 percent of people say they have been impacted by this chip shortage.

It remains of concern that while the crisis is showing some signs of relief, there is still work to be done by technology companies to alleviate the shortage.

Looking at the impact upon the electronics industry is Matt Gunn, VP Global Marketing at Supplyframe.

Gunn tells Digital Journal that to get out of the hole, industry needs to think big and in a joined-up way: “The world’s growing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity make it increasingly difficult to look beyond near-term challenges.”

Turning his attention to the new initiative, Gunn finds: “Semiconductors have become so strategic to the future of the country – and the world – that, as The New York Times reported, ‘a surprising group’ of investors have come together to try to ‘reinvigorate U.S. chip-making.’ This is yet another sign of the growing recognition that we need to transition from being very reactive to supply chain challenges to tackling them with more long-term strategies.”

Whether the club of the super-rich alone is sufficient, ponders Gunn and he considers the need for government intervention, noting: “Public-private partnerships are one keyway that can help us get there.”

There are other measures to be taken too, notes Gunn: “Building resilience is about more than increasing manufacturing capacity. To build resilience, we also need to drive alignment across a highly globalized value chain that spans multiple tiers. That requires adopting more holistic views within organizations about what product resilience really means and leveraging new forms of supply chain intelligence.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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