Semiconductors are the computer brains of electronic devices. Since the global pandemic in march 2020, the supply chain of computer chips found in mobile devices, TVs, cars, laptops, gaming consoles is in great shortage.
A semiconductor is an intermediate substance in electrical conductivity between a conductor and insulator. Semiconductors are employed in the manufacture of various electronic devices. One of its successful commercial properties is its ability to handle high voltage capabilities and easy integration into manufacturable microelectronic circuits.
The manufacturing of computer chips, a key element in electronic devices, was halted when leading producing countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Netherlands, and the United States went to hard lockdown, curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Factories are now battling to satisfy the new surge in demand, in spite of accelerated vaccination programs.
The backlog in supply has resulted in delayed product releases or complete cancellation altogether. Playstation 5, launched in South Africa on November 19, 2020, however consoles only became available this year. The anticipated launch of the iPhone 12, was postponed for 2 months due to the shortage and Apple is the world’s biggest buyer of semiconductors spending $58bn annually.
Initially, the computer chip supply chain was expected to recover within a year after covid-19 restrictions. However, the backlog seems to have intensified. Industry leader Intel Corporation has forecasted a shortage till 2023.
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