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'It's a Roller-Coaster Ride': Global Chip Shortage Is Making Industries Sweat


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A man holds an etched silicon wafer.

Chip shortages for higher-end systems are not unusual. But it is uncommon for an array of industries to be scrambling for the common chips embedded in many of their products.

Credit: Arno Burgi/picture alliance/Getty Images

Dan Rozycki, the president of a small engineering firm, worries about what a global semiconductor shortage could mean for curing concrete.

Mr. Rozycki's company, Transtec Group in Austin, Texas, sells small sensors that are placed where concrete is poured at building, highway and bridge construction sites. The gadgets take temperature readings and wirelessly send data so workers with computers can ensure the material is hardening properly.

Like many other things in the modern world, from computers and cars to cash registers and kitchen appliances, the sensors require a couple of common, inexpensive semiconductors that have suddenly become a very scarce commodity.

"Every month our product is getting more popular," Mr. Rozycki said. "But we may not be able to make it in several months."

From The New York Times
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