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The 10 Biggest News Stories Of 2021 (So Far)

Rick Whiting

While the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions have continued into 2021, the biggest news stories this year include major cybersecurity attacks, leadership changes at major IT vendors, and accelerating industry trends such as as-a-service and cloud market adoption.

3. The Global Chip Shortage Wreaks Havoc On Multiple Industries

Semiconductors are a key component in everything from consumer electronics and appliances to automobiles and IT systems. The global chip shortage that began in 2020 and continued into this year has impacted a wide range of industries and companies.

Why the shortage? Some chip manufacturing facilities shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Former President Trump’s trade war with China barred companies from making chips there. And with microprocessors being built into so many products, demand has soared even as semiconductor companies compete for capacity at contract manufacturers like Taiwan’s TSMC.

The shortage has hit IT system and device makers and the channel partners who sell their products. During a recent earnings call Apple executives warned that the chip shortage could constrain iPhone and iPad sales in the September quarter: CEO Tim Cook said the most pronounced shortages were in chips for routine functions like powering mobile displays and decoding audio, according to a CNBC story.

In July Intel warned that chip supply shortages will continue for several quarters with the CPU shortage for PCs worsening in the third quarter. The semiconductor giant said it might be one to two years before the industry is able to completely catch up with demand. But Intel also said it is not passing along to partners and customers some of the increased costs the company is seeing in its supply chain.

In February U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order to review semiconductor industry supply chains and IT technologies. In June the U.S. Senate approved $52 billion in spending for domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research.

 
Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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