Will Semiconductor Makers Be Able To Meet Surges In Demand?

Semiconductor manufacturers are constructing new facilities in Taiwan, the United States, Europe, and other locations, creating an opportunity for the sector to include sustainability from the start.

Fremont, CA: While chips are now in limited supply, there is rising concern about their environmental effect. Droughts and COVID forced factory (or fab) closures at the same time as the pandemic fuelled a boom in demand for medical equipment, tele-everything, and all the other technologies that help people stay productive and less isolated. However, chip demand has been increasing for some years, raising whether supplying these needs is compatible with the climate and environmental goals.

The response is that it is still in the works. However, semiconductor manufacturers are constructing new facilities in Taiwan, the United States, Europe, and other locations, creating an opportunity for the sector to include sustainability from the start. This will assist key chip makers in meeting voluntary goals such as attaining net-zero emissions by 2040 and 2050. According to the current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment, these commitments are encouraging, but they fall short of the urgent action required. And although committing does not assure delivery, donations from scholars, outside regulators, and consumers can assist.

According to research measuring computing's carbon emissions—from component production through recycling, including energy consumption while the device is operational. Their analysis compiled data from publicly available sustainability reports from several of the world's largest technology companies, such as TSMC, Intel, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple. One of the most important findings was that hardware production is now the leading source of carbon emissions for several types of mobile and data center equipment.

This is excellent news because advancements in performance and energy efficiency have reduced the carbon impact of operating these gadgets. However, the authors predict that the worldwide energy consumption of the information and computer technology (ICT) industry will rise by 7 to 20 percent by 2030, necessitating additional efforts to cut industrial emissions.