510: When the chips are down: material scarcity in the tech industry May 14, 2021

from Spark from CBC Radio· ·

The global economy is in the midst of a shortage of semiconductor chips. And while a dearth of microchips at one time would have meant headaches for desktop computer and laptop manufacturers, increasingly, our connected world needs chips, in everything from cars to smart doorbells. While the pandemic changed consumer demand, the chip shortage isn't just a product of the current health crisis. It's a deep-seated problem of supply chains, and our growing appetite for networked objects. Beyond the immediate supply chain headache, the tech sector has a long term scarcity problem. It relies on rare raw materials and still …



The global economy is in the midst of a shortage of semiconductor chips. And while a dearth of microchips at one time would have meant headaches for desktop computer and laptop manufacturers, increasingly, our connected world needs chips, in everything from cars to smart doorbells. While the pandemic changed consumer demand, the chip shortage isn't just a product of the current health crisis. It's a deep-seated problem of supply chains, and our growing appetite for networked objects. Beyond the immediate supply chain headache, the tech sector has a long term scarcity problem. It relies on rare raw materials and still has not come to terms with the need for genuinely sustainable, circular production. A look at building sustainable tech.