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Could Gallium Be The Critical Bottleneck For The Tech Boom?

March 25, 2024
x min read

Chip manufacturing and semiconductors have been one of the most in demand areas of technology amidst the boom in artificial intelligence. And one chemical element is becoming critically important as a consequence: gallium.

What’s happening:

  • Gallium is an essential input for both chip manufacturing and semiconductors and is becoming significantly more relevant as North America looks to find reliable sources of domestic gallium supply

Why it matters:

  • Gallium is used for the production of semiconductors, chip manufacturing, satellite systems and other emerging technologies
  • The United States is currently reliant entirely on China for the supply of gallium
  • As artificial intelligence and quantum computing continues to ramp up the demand for leading edge chips and semiconductors, a shortage of gallium production within North America is becoming a growing concern for future manufacturing

Going deeper:

  • The Pentagon previously announced plans to offer the first ever contracts to North American based companies who are capable of recovering gallium at commercial scale
  • Gallium is also used in multiple different pharmaceutical applications and even in nuclear medicine testing

The intrigue:

  • China has been slowly reducing their gallium exports to other parts of the world, which has led the United States to identifying gallium as a potential supply risk for advancing emerging technologies domestically

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