What Is the Chip Shortage — and How Will It Impact Your Holiday Shopping?

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From washing machines to cars to video game consoles, nowadays almost all electronic devices rely on chips to operate. If you've tried to purchase a new appliance or pre-order the latest tech in the last year or so, chances are you've run into some issues. 

In light of COVID19-related disruptions, the global supply chain has been under some considerable strain. Not to mention, the pandemic has caused a number of logistical issues as well as an increased demand for at-home electronics, like computers, since more folks are working remotely. This perfect storm of issues has led to what's being dubbed the "chip shortage."

Also referred to as the semiconductor shortage by some, this phenomenon boils down to an issue of demand outstripping supply; there simply aren't enough silicon chips to go around. And, of course, this isn't just impacting the integrated circuit industry — but every industry, from automotive to gaming, that builds products around these chips. So, as the holiday season approaches, we're taking a look at how the chip shortage — and other supply-chain issues — will impact your shopping plans this winter.