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Global chipmakers build record inventories in push to end shortage

Manufacturers plan to expand capacity, but fears of glut loom

Chipmakers such as Texas Instruments are building their stockpile of raw materials to drive production. (Image courtesy of the company)

TOKYO -- Total inventory at the world's nine leading chipmakers hit a record high of $64.7 billion as of the end of June, as companies quickly move to ramp up production to alleviate a protracted shortage that has disrupted supply chains in the auto industry and beyond.

Digitization and the rise of fifth-generation wireless have turned chips into an indispensable component across industry lines, while the coronavirus pandemic has forced many chipmakers to suspend production in Southeast Asia. Chipmakers have struggled to keep up despite a mad rush to expand capacity.

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