Chip Shortage Highlights U.S. Dependence on Fragile Supply Chain

60 Minutes


Car companies across the globe have had to idle production and workers because of a shortage of semiconductors often referred to as microchips or just chips there the tiny operating brains inside just about every modern device like smartphones hospital ventilators even fighter jets as we first reported in may the pandemic sent chip demand soaring unexpectedly as we bought computers electronics to work. Study and play from home but while more and more chips are needed in the us. Fewer and fewer of them are manufactured here. Intel is the biggest american chipmaker its most advanced fabrication. Plant or fab for short is located outside phoenix arizona. New ceo pat gelsinger invited us on a tour to see how incredibly complex the manufacturing process. Is i we had to suit up to avoid contaminating. The pfaff head cover on bunny suit zipped goggles gloves ready to go. I'm christine everything in this environment is control together. We stepped into a place with some of the most sophisticated new technology on earth. To ask you why. We're all yellow yellow filters remove light rays that are harmful to the process overhead a computerized highway transport's materials from one machine to the next the process involves thousands of steps where layer upon layer of microscopic circuitry is etched onto these silicon implants. That are then chopped up into chips. That will end up in. Say your computer. Making just one can take six months.

Coming up next