The Inquiry podcast

Are we running out of microchips?

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The world is becoming increasingly dependent on advanced microchips to power its high-end technology, However, they are made by just one company in Taiwan, TSMC, meaning the rest of the world is largely reliant on the country to produce its microchips. This is no accident and is in fact by Taiwanese design. Over three decades ago Taiwan decided to focus its resources on becoming the most advanced producer of microchips. Not only has this been of great profit for Taiwan’s economy its helped with security too – offering the country protection from its neighbour China by creating what’s been described as the ‘Silicon shield’, in other words, the US is largely dependent on Taiwan to sustain its high-end tech. Given both the USA’s and EU’s recent announcements that they are now heavily investing in and subsidising their own microchip industries, the question becomes is this still sustainable? Presenter: Charmaine Cozier Producer: Christopher Blake and Ravi Naik Editor: Tara McDermott

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