The Truth About Semiconductors
The new oil
What is a Semiconductor?
A Semiconductor is a piece of silicon that makes it easy to switch electricity on and off. The Semiconductor material is half conductor and half insulator, that’s what makes it so special. Back in the day you would need huge switches to perform that same function, it’s why computers were the size of rooms!
How Do You Make These Mfs?
Semi conductors are mostly made from silicon which can be found in sand. So yes, the sand mining industry makes the world go round. microchips require 99.9999999999% pure silicon, yes lotta nines. I’m no dork so this is as far as I get, mans got to know his limitations. This video will take you the rest of the way:
Why do we care about Semiconductors? Well.. semiconductors are an essential component in electronic devices, from phones to F-35s that land on amphibious assault ships. Semiconductors are kind of like oil now, if one country controls all of the production that would make it a very rich and influential place. Turns out that Taiwanese companies account for more then 50% of the global market.
Maybe right now protecting Taiwan from China makes a little more sense. Yes, the relationship between the US government and Taiwan is a long one that goes way back to after WW2 (I talk about it here). Don’t mind that, I’m talking about why anyone else should care. Chinese companies account for 7% of the market share and so does the US, yes the market is lopsided. The US is scrambling right now to ramp up their production but building advanced chips requires talent and equipment that aren’t easy to come by so it will take some years to balance the market.