Biden signs executive order investigating semiconductor shortage

The shortage has impacted the production of PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles

US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order to investigate concerns over a semiconductor shortage.

The global supply shortage has had a significant impact on the production of electronic goods, including smartphones and next-gen consoles.

According to a statement from The White House, the 100-day review aims to “help create more resilient and secure supply chains for critical and essential goods”. Semiconductors are among the four key products listed.

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In the previous week, the Semiconductor Industry Association called on the President to offer “substantial funding for incentives for semiconductor manufacturing”.

In the same statement, the organisation highlighted how the share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the US has fallen from 37 per cent in 1990 to 12 per cent today.

According to VGC, supply constraints of semiconductors have impacted AMD, who manufactures the chips used inside PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles. The company expects these constraints to continue for the first half of 2021.

A report from Bloomberg had suggested the semiconductor shortage could “get worse before it gets better in 2021”, and potentially lasting until Christmas.

PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles have continued to face stock shortages, with scalpers taking advantage of the consoles’ high demand and low supply.

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Last month, scalpers managed to secure PS5 stock from Argos before they were even listed for sale. The UK retailer was also criticised for releasing PS5 stock at 3am, which would seemingly give an advantage to resellers using automated bot software.

Despite these shortages, the PS5 had the best console launch in US history. Xbox Series X/S was also the UK’s best-selling console in January, according to GamesIndustry.biz.

Elsewhere, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has confirmed more PlayStation titles will be coming to PC, beginning with Days Gone this spring.

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