U.S. President Joe Biden has signed an executive order on Wednesday, asking to investigate the current semiconductor shortage.
Right now, a semiconductor shortage is plaguing the US electronics industry, pushing more and more companies to compete for chips. The investigation looks further into shortages “critical and essential goods.”
EO tasks departments to do supply chain reviews
The executive order, known as the Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains, directs several departments to conduct a 100-day review. The review will look into supply-chain risks, together with policy recommendations from several secretaries.
Analysts are calling it the worst semiconductor shortage in years. Why is there such a massive chip supply crunch happening now? @CNBCJosh breaks it down. https://t.co/1nXIMeJst4 pic.twitter.com/zOn6LVhhsL
— CNBC (@CNBC) February 10, 2021
The investigation itself will be an inter-departmental effort. These include the Departments of Health, Defense, Energy, and Commerce. So far, the chip shortage is affecting many companies from all over the world.
“The American people should never face shortages in the goods and services they rely on, whether that’s their car or their prescription medicines or the food at the local grocery store,” said Biden in the order.
“This is about making sure the United States can meet every challenge we face in this new era — pandemics, but also in defense, cybersecurity, climate change, and so much more. And the best way to do that is by protecting and sharpening America’s competitive edge by investing here at home.”
Global shortage comes from pandemic, climate issues
The executive order for the investigation will likely yield some key information crucial to learning more about the semiconductor shortage. Right now, many key semicon plants were affected not only by the pandemic but weird weather patterns.
Analog Devices CEO Vincent Roche said the semiconductor shortage hurting automakers is a problem many of them brought on themselves https://t.co/hXV4iKNudS
— Bloomberg (@business) February 17, 2021
For example, TSMC, one of the world’s biggest manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, is experiencing water shortages. Not enough water from typhoons is threatening the chip manufacturer’s productivity.
The COVID-19 pandemic also grounded many different chip factories worldwide. Many of these factories are in Asia, including China, Taiwan, and South Korea. The pandemic halted their productivity and work is only gaining steam again.
There’s also a clear shortage of silicon wafers across the entire world. Right now, PC and gaming component companies like NVIDIA, AMD, Sony, and even Xbox have to compete with car manufacturers for chips.
The chip shortage is making consoles like the PS5 and the Xbox Series X and S hard to secure. The consoles have stayed scarce so far, with restocks selling out in a matter of minutes.
According to AMD, their forecast is looking at potential issues as far as the first half of the year. Even then, many gaming companies are putting a positive face forward amidst the semiconductor shortage.
Featured image courtesy of President Biden/Twitter