Winter Weather Closes Texas Chip Plants, Which Could Worsen Shortage

New York, Feb 19 (AFP/APP): The winter storm ravaging the United States has forced the shutdown of computer chip manufacturing in Texas, threatening to worsen a global semiconductor shortage.

NXP Semiconductors, a major provider of automotive and mobile phone chips, said its plant in Austin, Texas was closed amid the state’s electric power difficulties.

“We are carefully monitoring the situation and will resume operations in our Austin facilities as soon as possible,” said David Reed, executive vice president for operations at the Dutch-based company.

Operations were also suspended at Texas facilities of South Korea’s Samsung and German manufacturer Infineon Technologies, according to media reports. The news comes amid a worsening shortage of semiconductors affecting a variety of sectors including automobiles, mobile phones, game consoles and more. Manufacturers have faced challenges in meeting strong consumer electronics demand during the pandemic, while meeting needs of other sectors.

The Biden administration said last week it was assessing immediate steps to address the semiconductor shortage and planned an executive order to shore up critical supply chain items. The White House said the administration wants a “comprehensive review of supply chains for critical goods” that can guide both short- and long-term actions.

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