...amongst other uses. These chips are typically made out of silicon and carry out control and memory functions in products---these range from microwaves to computers and smartphones.
Shortages of the chip for car production were brought up during the pandemic last year, as production had to be redirected towards consumer electronics. With more people working remotely, more computers and smartphones, among other electronics, had to be produced quickly, leading to cars being left behind.
On top of this, because of the pandemic, automakers temporarily shut their factories at different times around the world during 2020, so these chips were being more readily sold to electronics makers.
Now that automakers have reopened production lines, there aren't enough chips to go around.
The major players in semiconductor chips' production include NXP Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Infineon Technologies and more.