How the world ran out of a critical technology that powers our cars, phones, and more

There’s a global shortage in semiconductors, and it’s becoming increasingly serious. The U.S. is currently reviewing its supply of the technology, following a landmark executive order from President Joe Biden.

The president also pledged $37 billion to cover the short-term costs of rebuilding and securing America’s supply of semiconductors, which are a fundamental part of microchips and thus integral to everything from computers to smartphones to renewable energy and military hardware.

The automotive sector has been worst affected by the drought, in an era where microchips now form the backbone of most cars. Ford is predicting a 20% slump in production, and Tesla shut down its Model 3 assembly line for two weeks. In the U.K., Honda was forced to temporarily shut its plant as well.


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