Commonly known as chips, semiconductors are critical to the functioning of a wide range of everyday products, from computers to cell phones to state-of-the-art refrigerators.
The chip shortage began after the coronavirus pandemic hit last year. As global demand for autos fell, car companies cut production and their purchases of semiconductors needed to build cars. At the same time, demand for semiconductors soared from companies making computers and other equipment that allowed employees to work from home, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.
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