In a bid to address global semiconductor supply chain issues, Japan, the United States, South Korea, and Taiwan have launched talks on a new framework called “Chip 4.” The framework aims to enhance cooperation among the countries and secure the supply of semiconductors, which are crucial components for various industries, including automobiles and electronics.
The talks were initiated by Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Hiroshi Kajiyama, in February 2021. They come in response to the global chip shortage that has disrupted the production of many goods worldwide, causing delays and shortages in various industries.
The “Chip 4” talks will focus on improving the efficiency of the semiconductor supply chain and promoting the development of new technologies. The countries will also seek to enhance information-sharing on supply and demand for semiconductors, as well as measures to improve the sustainability of the supply chain.
The four countries are all significant players in the semiconductor industry. Japan is home to major semiconductor companies such as Toshiba and Renesas Electronics, while South Korea is the world’s largest memory chip maker, with companies like Samsung and SK Hynix. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is the world’s largest contract chipmaker, and the United States is a significant consumer of semiconductors and home to several major companies, including Intel and Qualcomm.
According to analysts, the chip shortage is a result of several factors, including high demand for electronics during the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions to the supply chain caused by the pandemic. Other factors include the growth of industries such as electric vehicles and the increasing complexity of semiconductors, which has led to a shortage of skilled workers in the industry.
The “Chip 4” talks are expected to help address these issues by promoting collaboration among major players in the semiconductor industry. They are also expected to encourage the development of new technologies and improve the efficiency and sustainability of the semiconductor supply chain.