US expands semiconductor capacity amid chip shortage


Jim Minicucci, Global Head of the Specialty Gases business field at EMD Electronics, a business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, shares his viewpoints on the semiconductor chip shortage and supply chain with gasworld.

Why is the world running low on semiconductor chips?

Jim Minicucci, Global Head – Specialty Gases at EMD Electronics (JM): The chip shortage started with the unprecedented demand for electronics spurred by Covid-19. The pandemic required people to work from home, virtually go to school, shop online. We saw home entertainment activities including online streaming and gaming increase dramatically. This acceleration of a digital economy boosted the demand for PC’s, monitors, smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices and all these electronic devices need lots of chips. Also, these devices are connected and generate tremendous amounts of data that needs to be processed and stored, which drives infrastructure needs that also use lots of chips. The huge spike in demand coming from every sector outpaced the industry’s production capacity leading to a global scarcity of chips.

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