A little-known problem to anyone outside the tech world will soon affect people all over the world – and its solution has suffered yet another setback.
Intel is aiming to tackle the ongoing chip shortage that will affect everything from consoles to cars. But politics is getting in the way of them getting a handle on things. And should it? Is Intel’s desperation to get a hold of more chips costing others? We explore this question in our guide to the great chip shortage. Read on for all the details.
What’s the problem?
The biggest chip manufacturer, Intel, seems to think that if the US can’t, or won’t, manufacture their chips, then they will look elsewhere. Somewhere where labor is notoriously cheap: China.
However, The World’s Police has for once put their foot down against corporate giants. The US government has blocked Intel from using Chinese workers and factories to create their chips.
Intel’s plea to the US government was two-fold: increase current production output and additional research in the US. Fine, so far. And to use a Chengdu factory to back up the production of chips.
No, thank you, said Biden, who “strongly discouraged” the use of the factory. It is known that Biden is making moves towards more manufacturing within the US, but it is also rumored that there are concerns about China and security.
What’s the story?
A snowball effect that started with factories and trade routes shutting down around the world caused a lot of panicking tech giants. Almost two years in, things have moved on. Now, there is a trade war between the US and China that is halting the production and transportation of chips, although that isn’t the be all and end all of it.
But why is that important? There are Lays in every corner shop.
These chips are in everything from consoles to cars, and every consumer electronic you can think of. And without them, Goldman Sachs says that 169 industries have been affected. With a great push for smart technology that relies on these chips, even your kettle won’t be able to function without them soon. If you don’t already have all your devices it might be a while before you can play GGPoker on a new mobile phone.
Consoles and cars are the two most likely to lose out. The famed and much-anticipated PS5 was launched but has since infuriated console players who are having trouble getting a hold of one in the drip-fed releases since.
The average modern car can have around 1,500 chips in it, while the higher than average can reach around 3,000. A severe slow down in the buying of cars caused by the pandemic lessened the need for chips but caused other devastating effects on the industry.
This all comes down to chips. Without chips, electronics cannot be made to do what they are designed to do. If they can’t be made, they can’t be sold. With no money coming in, jobs are being affected.
Due to the shortage of chips, car manufacturer Opel closed its Eisenach manufacturing plant until 2022, causing the temporary firing of 1,300 workers.
What’s the solution?
That’s a matter of debate. China’s practices and operations have always been controversial, and the US taking a stand against them, including a “diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing 2022 Olympics, is a new move that is oddly refreshing.
On the other hand, because of a piece of tech smaller than a fingerprint, the US is facing an unprecedented shortage. Yes, consoles and cars are affected, but so are security systems and tech that day to day life relies on. And that’s all without mentioning the closure of big businesses leaving workers out in the dust.