Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Webb telescope news, Older Americans Month, YouTube Go being discontinued, Ms. Pacman and the Video Game Hall of Fame, a streaming service from Microsoft, Apple and Samsung’s market dominance, and more.
Rick in Baton Rouge, Louisiana listens on 710 KEEL and asked: “With the shortage of brand new vehicles and computer chips, is that going to affect other consumer electronics? And are we able to produce – or can Ford, or any of the other manufacturers produce their own chips – or are they dependant on foreign companies or – where do those chips come from?”
Rick, its already affecting other industries, though the scale at which they are affected may be different.
The semiconductor market, like everything else these days, is global and that goes for both the finished product and the raw materials that make up the chips.
Producing them locally isnt always physically possible, but assuming the raw materials are there, the cost is also a concern, so effectively producing them locally, even where possible, is likely not viable for anything that isnt a strategic concern.
For example, building expensive chips locally for a power stations controllers could probably be subsidized, but building a $100 chip for a $600 phone or computer wont help anyone.
Theres another big and very obvious problem with building chips where theyre not currently being built: If you had the raw materials, and you could do it cheaply enough, then youd still need the machinery, the facilities, and the workforce. Intel is building factories in the US right now, but they probably wont be ready before this particular shortage ends.
Its just not worth the trouble to work around a problem that is expected to last between a few months and a year in a very slow and very expensive way like reworking where and how the industry produces components.
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