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Everything you need to know about the global chip shortage

Decoder with Nilay Patel

August 31, 2021

66 minutes

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the demand for microchips has far exceeded supply, causing problems in every industry that relies on computers. And if you’re a Decoder listener, you know that that is every industry. Right now, major automakers have unfinished cars sitting in parking lots waiting for chips to be installed. Game consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X are impossible to find. And even things like microwaves and refrigerators are impacted, because they contain simple controller chips. 

So we realized it was time to figure out what caused the chip shortage, why that happened, and how we are going to get out of it. 

My guest today is Dr. Willy Shih. He’s the professor of management practices at Harvard Business School. He’s an expert on chips and semiconductors — he spent years working at companies like IBM and Silicon Graphics. And he’s also an expert in supply chains — how things go from raw materials to finished products in stores. Willy’s the guy that grocery stores and paper companies called in March 2020 when there was a run on toilet paper. If anyone’s going to explain this thing, it’s going to be Willy.


What toilet paper can teach us about supply chains

The latest in the global semiconductor shortage

Ford to build some F-150 trucks without certain parts due to global chip shortage

Situation regarding semiconductor plant fire and product supply

Samsung forced to halt chip production in Austin due to power outages


About that White House meeting to discuss the semiconductor supply chain


Ford CEO Jim Farley on building the electric F-150 -- and reinventing Ford


Senate approves billions for US semiconductor manufacturing


Intel invests $20 billion into new factories, will produce chips for other companies


Apple supplier TSMC confirms it’s building an Arizona chip plant


Biden-⁠Harris Administration announces Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to address short-term supply chain discontinuities


Water shortages loom over future semiconductor fabs in Arizona


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