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Go read Bloomberg’s interactive and educational breakdown of the semiconductor shortage

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A confluence of factors and a visual cascade

intel silicon

The global chip shortage has been a growing concern in the tech industry (and it has even grabbed the interest of the US president) as it starts to affect the production of more and more products, from cars to graphics cards to game consoles. For a great explanation of all the factors that have led to the shortage, you should read Bloomberg’s breakdown. It digs into factors like pandemic-fueled demand and the small number of companies actually able to produce the chips that now power so much of our digital lives.

One of the most interesting features of the article is an interactive graphic that shows the customers and industries that make use of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which gives a great idea of the scale and potential downstream effects of the manufacturing bottleneck when one company becomes a dominant force in the consumer electronics component pipeline. You’ll probably learn something new from playing around with it — like the possibly surprising size of Texas Instruments, a company many mostly associate with calculators.

This graphic is a wealth of knowledge.
Image: Bloomberg

The article also dives into factors that are more obscure but no less important, like lead times and inventory planning. Despite the depth, the Bloomberg piece still manages to show the interplay between all of the global occurrences and companies involved with surprising clarity, which is why it’s well worth a read.