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Climate change: shortage of electronic chips in the world

Electronic chips. | Posted on 2021-03-19 12:27

Global warming is having its effects on the economy. After nature and the ecosystem, the rise in temperatures is also impacting the manufacture of electronic chips. The repercussions are global. Many automobile production lines are at a standstill. The giants of the consumer electronics industry, such as Apple or Samsung, are forced to postpone the release of their new products for lack of components.

the global shortage is due to the drought that is worsening in regions of the world where a large part of the chips used in the world are manufactured. Taiwan, the world's largest chip maker, is on the front lines. Indeed, this small country, neighbor of China, has just experienced its worst drought in 56 years. In recent years, researchers have noted a notable drop in precipitation and other typhoons in the region. According to them, this would be due to global warming.

The manufacture of an electronic chip requires very large quantities of water. For example, TSMC, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which alone manufactures 60% of the world's chips and in particular graphics chips from Nvidia as well as systems on a Snapdragon chip from Qualcomm but also chips from Apple, consumed 156,000 tonnes of water per day in 2019. We understand, therefore, that the water stress undergone by the country is causing the rest of the world to falter. The Taiwanese government has taken the measure of the gravity of the situation and has decided to impose a reduction in water consumption on the populations, on farmers but also on industrialists.

It is a new blow for certain sectors like the automobile already weakened by the global pandemic. The shortage of semiconductors has led manufacturers and equipment manufacturers to stop production lines and put their staff on technical unemployment. This is the case for all major groups, from the United States to China via Europe; Stellantis, Renault, PSA, Ford, Toyota, Honda, VW, to name a few, have been forced to take tough action.

It is also a very complicated situation for industries which have benefited on the contrary from the confinements of populations and the generalization of teleworking. We think of telephony, computers or video games which have seen worldwide demand soar and which can no longer be supplied for lack of parts.

But if the drought caused by climate change is causing severe shortages in Asia, it is interesting to remember its counterpart, which took place on the other side of the planet. In fact, Texas went through the worst climatic situation in its history last February. An instability of the Arctic polar vortex has hit several American states. Polar temperatures have sent the thermometer plummeting to unprecedented levels, sometimes 25 ° below the temperatures usually seen at this time of year. This freezing cold had the consequences of heavily damaging electrical infrastructure and causing the closure of several electronic chip manufacturing factories.

In the end, these two extreme weather phenomena derive their violence from the same origin: climate change. New illustration, if there was still need to give, that the upheavals caused by the excessive quantities of greenhouse gas emissions will spare no sector, no country. The various post-covid relaunch plans prepared by governments will encourage people to consume. Growth will pick up again. and all will want to meet the demand. We are already looking forward to future growth forecasts. We hope that the machine will run at full speed again to make us the umpteenth phone that we do not need. Taiwan, Texas or elsewhere, it will take a lot of parts.

No need to think about relocating to take shelter. Facing Mother Nature, we will all be in the same boat.

Posted on 2021-03-19 12:27

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