Fishing for chips: Making the case for a homegrown Canadian semiconductor industry

This article was originally published in the Financial Post on April 30, 2021. Read the full article

The nearly US$490-billion global semiconductor industry is in a massive period of flux. Over the past several months, it has been beset by trade wars, supply chain problems and even a factory fire, all of which have been blamed for the chip shortages disrupting the automobile and consumer electronic sectors. The issues were serious enough to prompt United States President Joe Biden’s administration to convene an urgent meeting in mid-April with industry heavy-hitters including the CEO of Intel Corp., and to call for billions of dollars in spending to boost the supply of semiconductors, the silicon and crystal powerhouses of electronic and sensor devices colloquially known as chips.

Demand for consumer electronics and the semiconductors that power them has skyrocketed during the pandemic, further pressuring supplies needed for computers and sensors in the automobile industry, causing massive disruptions. As a result, losses could end up in the billions of dollars and manufacturers in Canada have not been immune. In February, a General Motors Co. plant in Ingersoll, Ont., was idled by the chip shortage, with more than 1,000 workers eligible to collect layoff benefits.

Full article: Financial Post


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