The report, based on more than 150 responses to a Commerce Department request for information from businesses that produce and use semiconductors, found that the median supply of chips held by manufacturers has dropped from 40 days’ worth in 2019 to less than five days’ worth last year.
“The semiconductor supply chain remains fragile,” the report states. “Demand continues to far outstrip supply.”
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNN in December that the shortage is unlikely to go away until “deep into 2022.” The Commerce Department’s Tuesday report found that “respondents did not see the problem going away in the next six months.”
The Biden administration has been working to prop up the US chip-making industry, both to ease current supply chain woes and reduce America’s dependence on foreign production of the crucial components going forward.
President Biden has urged Congress to pass legislation to address global semiconductor shortages. Congress has passed the CHIPS for America Act, which includes $52 billion in subsidies to support domestic semiconductor manufacturing, but has not yet allocated the funds.
In its report Tuesday, the Commerce Department said it had identified certain semiconductor products for which the supply challenges are most acute, including “legacy logic chips” used in cars, medical devices and other products, and “analog chips” used in image sensors.
“We will target our efforts moving forward on collaborating with industry to resolve bottlenecks” for those specific products, the report states.
The report is likely to bolster those calling on Congress to direct resources to the industry.
Jordan Crenshaw, vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Engagement Center, said the findings on the ongoing shortage “highlights the critical need for the United States to invest in expanding semiconductor capacity.”
“Congress must get to work on fully implementing and funding the CHIPS Act,” Crenshaw said in a statement.