Chip Shortages: How to prevent it from happening

Graphic by Harshitha Damodaran

The start of a new decade has been a difficult time for technology. Due to the pandemic, people are forced to stay at home and they rely on technological devices to ensure that they are still working, looking for jobs and staying connected with family and friends.


However, owning the latest technology with a higher performance is becoming more difficult than before.


According to a ZDNet article, semiconductors support the majority of technological devices. However, due to a lack of new semiconductors, laptops and smartphones are running out of stock. This also affects desktop PCs and gaming consoles, as well as cars, home appliances and children’s toys. 


Part of the blame is the pandemic that started in March 2020, resulting in manufacturing workers being sent home to work remotely, thus surged its sales. Simultaneously, users seek alternative forms of entertainment during the lockdown, such as gaming. However, I would argue that as time goes on, individuals are now dependent on technology for working, studying and connecting with others.


There is no doubt that technology has been beneficial for us, and the demand for new devices and products has gotten stronger than ever, but maybe a bit too much.


This might sound hilarious in hindsight, but throughout my observations over the last few years, it’s become apparent that there is mass production present in the world of technology, with manufacturers constantly making new devices and models, and consumers eating it all up.


Every few years, people buy the latest smartphones for each new contract, whenever there’s a new plan. Regardless of the plan or brand chosen, manufacturing a new phone is a waste of resources. This situation also applies to products that aren’t time-worn in the first place.


With  seemingly indefinite device production in order to satisfy global consumers, resources are wasted. There should be different solutions that can prevent a possible chip shortage.


One idea is to have the companies and manufacturers listen to customer feedback for several years after a device’s launch. Afterwards, they can figure out ways to create a new model that improves the flaws of the previous device or model.


It would have made coherent sense for them to release a smartphone, PC or laptop and wait for five to six years before releasing a new version. On top of this, there are also software updates that can improve its performance, fix errors and add in new features, so there is no purpose to waste these semiconductors.C