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What are semiconductors and why are they so vital

Semiconductors are also known as microchips or integrated circuits. They are the fundamental building blocks of our digital world. Almost anything with an on/off switch except for the most simple lights will have at least one, and often dozens or, in some cases, hundreds of semiconductors inside.

The history and importance of semiconductors

The silicon chip was invented more than half a century ago. Since then, technology has come a long way. The first semiconductors that were available for sale in the 1960s had 4 transistors on them. Today, a smartphone chip can have at least 10 billion transistors.

Semiconductors are ubiquitous. They are found in everything from refrigerators to cars to smartphones. As the global digital revolution gathers pace, semiconductors are becoming an increasingly valuable commodity.

The global semiconductor shortage

The auto industry is the best example of an industry that was affected by the global semiconductor shortage. Auto firms had to let cars sit unfinished because they couldn't acquire the semiconductors they needed.

Although demand for semiconductors is global, the manufacturing of them is not. The production process is actually shockingly concentrated. For many critical components, there is only one company in the world that has the know-how to do cutting-edge production.

The concentration of semiconductor manufacturing makes the global industry vulnerable to both geopolitical events and natural disasters.

Topics:
Emerging Technologies
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