At the start of the pandemic in 2020, many countries and industries were forced to temporarily halt their operations in a bid to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. This ultimately led to the global chip shortage that we know today, and while things were supposed to improve, it looks like that has hit a speed bump.
This is because over in Ukraine where a war is happening, two companies – Ingas and Cryoin – have stopped their supply of neon gas. For those unfamiliar, neon gas is essential in the production of semiconductors. Given that both of these companies are responsible for providing about half of the world’s neon gas, this is a huge stepback in terms of chip production.
According to the companies, they say that the ongoing war has led to the destruction of critical infrastructure, and as a result, they have been forced to shut down their operations. While there are obviously other companies that supply neon gas, the fact that half of that production is now gone (and we don’t know for how long), it means that companies will need to get their supply from other companies which in turn could create a massive backlog.
It could also lead to prices of neon gas going up even higher than before, where due to the pandemic, prices went up by 500%, so we imagine that it could get even more expensive. It is unclear how big of an impact this will have on consumers yet, so only time will tell.