This page provides information about supply shortages of resources needed for tech device manufacturing and maintenance. The list is organized alphabetically.
The shortages are mostly being driven by the ongoing pandemic, wars, climate extremes, hackers, labor shortages, natural disasters, and population migrations of millions impacted by these events. If these factors are corrected, supply availability should return to normal.
Until some stability returns to the global availability of tech industry supplies, purchasing old computers and refurbishing them is a good idea. Having one or two working used computers available can provide a system to fall back on if your primary computer fails. Don’t plan on new computers being available or affordable as a replacement when you need one.
People who provide tech support should consider stocking up on some common supplies that might be needed, such as solid-state drives, memory, and power supplies. Also having some working used computers would be helpful. Laptop computers are a good choice because of their smaller size and ability to run on battery power. New batteries are typically available for older laptop computers.
If you are very reliant on printing, you will want to consider having extra ink and perhaps an extra working printer available. Ink tank printers typically come with a two-year supply of ink.
In addition to planning on low-tech solutions, some “no-tech” systems can help with staying organized during tech shortages, power failures, and internet outages. A binder with important information can be a handy alternative. [Learn More]
Supply Shortages – Alphabetical Listing
As a completed assembled component, chips rely on many materials. Due to the shortages in production capacity and other reasons, there are shortages of chips. The video below from CBS on 22 Mar 2022 describes the problem.
Lithography of Semiconductors
CNBC – 23 Mar 2022: “In a Dutch factory, there’s a revolutionary chipmaking machine the whole world has come to rely on. It takes months to assemble, and only one company in the world knows how: Advanced Semiconductor Materials Lithography.” [Source: CNBC]
VOX – 18 Mar 2022: “Neon, a colorless and odorless gas, is typically not as exciting as it sounds, but this unassuming molecule happens to play a critical role in making the tech we use every day. For years, this neon has also mostly come from Ukraine, where just two companies purify enough to produce devices for much of the world, usually with little issue. At least, they did until Russia invaded.” [More]
CNBC – 19 Mar 2022: “As the EV industry ramps up, it could be hindered by a global shortage of nickel, a key component in most lithium-ion batteries. Tesla recently signed a deal to source nickel from a proposed mine in Minnesota, though mining raises a variety of environmental concerns that EV automakers must grapple with if they want to source battery minerals responsibly. Many also hope that battery recycling technology will scale up quickly enough to make a dent in the problem.” [Source: CNBC]
CNBC, 16 Mar 2022: “Even though sand can be found in nearly every single country on Earth, the world could soon face a shortage of this crucial, under-appreciated commodity. In the last twenty years, sand use around the world has tripled, according to the UNEP. That’s far greater than the rate at which sand is being replenished.” [View Video]
The video below, at 11m 10s, has a segment on the limited global supply of sand.
Deutsche Welle – 18 Mar 2022: “First the pandemic, now the war in Ukraine. The world economy has been shaken up – including the production of semiconductors, which are important for a number of industries. From car and electronics manufacturers to medical technology, many companies fear having to shut down production again, if chip-makers can’t get key raw materials from Russia and Ukraine. Sales in the computer chip industry have increased enormously in recent years.” [Source: Deutsche Welle]