What are semiconductors? Why are they in shortage? Illustrated for everyone to easily understand.

What are semiconductors? Why are they in shortage? Illustrated for everyone to easily understand.
An illustration representing a computer circuit board and a car chip.

Recently, “semiconductor shortages” have been all over the news and the internet.

Some people may not feel familiar with the news, no matter how topical it is.

It seems that we don’t know it, but the shortage of semiconductors is actually affecting our daily lives.

If you do not know what semiconductors do, you can easily understand them by learning what semiconductors themselves are.

In this article, we, who make equipment that is also used in the semiconductor fabrication process, will use illustrations to explain semiconductors more clearly for those who do not know anything about semiconductors.

After reading this article, you will be convinced why semiconductors are so important all over the world and how they affect our lives.

Please refer to this article.

What is a semiconductor all about? An easy-to-understand, graphical explanation.

What is a semiconductor all about? An easy-to-understand, graphical explanation.

Semiconductors are such important components that they are in all electronic equipment.

Substances can be divided into conductors, which conduct electricity, and insulators, which do not.

A semi-conductor, meaning half of a conductor, has a mechanism that may or may not conduct electricity.

It is “semiconductors” that can control electricity.

A grouping of many semiconductors is also called an ‘integrated circuit’.

Semiconductors are currently used in almost all electrical appliances, including washing machines, refrigerators, computers, smartphones, video games and beauty equipment, and are an essential component of electronic devices.

As shown in the figure above, semiconductors are embedded in small electronic devices.

How did the shortage of semiconductors occur?

How did the shortage of semiconductors occur?

Semiconductors, which are required for all electronic devices, are currently in shortage on a global level.

There are several factors that explain how this occurred.

Demand has increased as the functionality of electrical appliances has improved and electronic circuits have been needed to accommodate this.

In the past, smartphones and solar panels did not exist.

The function of household appliances used to be simply to remove dirt, but today, functionality is more important and products are developed for the convenience of modern people, such as washing machines that can detect dirt and clean on their own.

As the functionality of electronic equipment increases, more and more ‘semiconductors’ are needed.

Increased demand for laptops due to COVID-19.

In the last two years, a ‘semiconductor shortage’ has become evident.

This is due to the impact of COVID-19 prevention, the widespread use of telework and the increase in the number of companies and people introducing and purchasing laptop computers.

Laptops are a mass of integrated circuits, which means they are electronic devices that use a lot of semiconductors.

To develop and promote electric vehicles

It has been announced that 100% electric vehicles will be widely used by 2035.

This is the new era when petrol car sales are being phased out and electric car sales are on the rise.

Electronic vehicles also use a lot of integrated circuit, which requires a mass of semiconductors.

There are not many factories supplying semiconductors although demand is only increasing drastically.

Semiconductors are made from ‘silicon’ called eleven-nine.

This silicon is of high purity and is manufactured by extracting silicon from nature and then refining it into eleven nines.

This process requires a lot of money, state-of-the-art technology and factory construction, which is why many electrical appliance companies do not make their own semiconductors but get them from imports.

In these circumstances, the production of semiconductors could not keep up with the demand, which only has been increased.

This is exactly the situation that is happening around the world, where people are fighting for semiconductors.

What is the impact of the shortage of semiconductors on our lives?

What is the impact of the shortage of semiconductors on our lives?

We now know that semiconductor shortage has several causes. How does this directly affect our lives?

No immediate access to goods.

Today, semiconductors are in short supply on a global level.

As a result, there are delays in the delivery of all electronic device in general.

Even if you buy a computer, it can be four months or more until it arrives at your home.

You need it, but you have to wait for a long time to actually get it..

The shortage of semiconductors has also begun to restrict the purchase of electronic equipment.

Already limited in supply for Mac and iPad, it is said that it will be difficult to obtain iPhone in the future.

We used to be able to get everything quickly, but now we have to wait a long time to get what we need.

Fake semiconductors may affect the human body during use.

Due to the shortage of semiconductors, counterfeit semiconductors are beginning to be rampant.

They are sold on the internet and appear to be commercialized as they are, incorporated into drive recorders, facial equipment and electronic cigarettes.

They may not work properly or, in rare cases, may even catch fire from their fake semiconductors. This could jeopardize safety.


In this issue, we explained ‘semiconductors’ in simple terms.

Have you understood that the shortage of semiconductors has a significant impact on our lives?

We, Suga Co., Ltd. provide equipment to make ‘deposition’, which is used in the semiconductor manufacturing process

Click here to find out more if you are interested in the product.

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