2021 is going to be a rough year in the technology space. The main reason is due to global shortages of semiconductors used in creating the silicon that lives inside our devices. Still can’t get a PS5 or an Xbox Series X? This is the reason why. And it won’t end there.
Many companies will be forced to delay or even cancel projects in 2022 and it means for consumers it will be harder to get hold of new tech. But what if there is an alternative to endlessly outputting new silicon? Well it turns out there is.
Did you know semiconductors can actually be reclaimed and recycled? The reason we don’t hear about this is because most silicon manufacturers don’t discuss it. Let’s take Intel for example. They claim to be active recyclers of waste water and work to reduce waste during manufacturing m. That’s great! But they don’t have any known recycling program for their silicon. The largest chip manufacturer in the world. Why??! It’s simple. Money.
Chip manufacturers aren’t incentivised to invest in processes that would lower the cost of recycling silicon. They make huge profits on selling you new silicon and the demands of share holders to focus on return on investment means that nothing ever changes.
The shortage of semiconductors is forcing at least some companies to rethink this problem. But what it really needs is regulation 👮♂️
Featured Image: Alexandre Debiève via Unsplash