ETO's Supply Chain Explorer tool visualizes supply chains in critical and emerging technology. This edition of the Explorer covers the tools, materials, processes, countries, and firms involved in producing advanced logic chips - computer chips that are critical to virtually every sector of the economy, from transportation and telecommunications to robotics, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology.
What can I use it for?
You can use the Explorer to:
Learn about how advanced logic chips are produced and the tools, materials, and processes that are involved.
Visually explore the chip supply chain as a series of stages and processes, each involving different tools, materials, and providers.
Assess countries' and companies' roles in the supply chain using the dataset's extensive provider information.
Identify "chokepoints," market concentration, dependency relationships, and other structural features of the supply chain.
It's high-level. The Explorer is designed to orient non-specialists to the supply chain for advanced chips. It may be less relevant to professional supply chain managers, regulatory compliance analysts, or other specialists requiring very granular data or analytic capabilities.
Some data may be out of date. Most of the data used in this tool was considered current as of early 2021. We believe the dataset still gives a good overall picture of the global semiconductor supply chain. That said, some of the specific data points are almost certainly out of date already, and more will go stale over time. Read more >>
The country market share and company nationality data rely on company headquarters locations, making the tool less useful for research questions that depend on where production is physically happening. Read more >>
These instructions focus on the desktop version of the tool. Some features may be missing or act differently on mobile devices.
The Explorer visualizes the supply chain for advanced chips as a sequence of processes. Each process exists within a broader production stage and uses different kinds of inputs, which are listed under the name of each process. Inputs include consumable materials, like chemicals, and non-consumable tools, like machinery. (In this documentation, we sometimes refer to stages, processes, and inputs as "elements.")
Clicking on a stage (using the information icon), process, or input will open a detail pane.
You'll see that some inputs have variants, which can be accessed through the detail pane for the parent input (or by selecting the variant with the "Specific inputs" highlighter). For example, there are many different types of deposition tools, some of which have variants of their own:
Use the Explorer's filter bar to choose and apply different highlighting to elements. To learn more about what the filters mean, hover over the "?" icons.
Only one filter can be used at a time. When you apply one, all of the matching elements will become highlighted, and the others will fade out. Clear the filters at any time with the "Clear" button.
Some filters apply highlighting in different shades, representing different amounts or levels of intensity. For example, applying the country filter will highlight different areas of the map according to the country's market share in those areas (stronger highlighting for higher market share).
Coming back to a view
As you browse the Explorer, your browser's address bar will update to reflect the applied filters and selections. Copy the URL in order to return to the same view later.
What can I use it for?
Learn about the tools, materials, and processes used to produce advanced logic chips, and the countries and firms that provide them. You can use the Explorer to browse this information visually.
Sort and visualize elements of the supply chain according to provider countries, firms, and degree of concentration. Use the Explorer's filters to quickly identify interesting processes, tools, or materials, or dive deep into specific inputs using the detail view. For complex queries involving multiple criteria, you can also crunch the raw data with your favorite data analysis tools.
See what's downstream or upstream of a particular stage or process in the supply chain. You can see these relationships at a glance in the Explorer interface. (Advanced users can also calculate these relationships programmatically using the raw data.)
Which uses are not recommended?
Tracking trends over time. This tool provides a "snapshot" view of the semiconductor supply chain. It doesn't include any historical data.
Supply chain management uses, such as product sourcing, logistics management, or vetting vendors. The dataset used in this tool generally isn't specific or current enough for these applications.
Measuring market scale, profitability, or other economic metrics related to the semiconductor sector. The dataset used in this tool doesn't include financial or economic data other than country market share for specific inputs.
Researching individual firms in detail. This tool incorporates relatively high-level information about individual firms, such as headquarters location, website, and inputs provided. The underlying dataset includes some additional details, but neither resource has more granular company information, such as manufacturing capacity, location of specific facilities, or corporate ownership.
Assessing the physical location of chip production. In this tool, country nationality is determined based on the location of the company's headquarters, not (for example) where the company conducts most of its manufacturing or research. This also affects the calculation of country market share, and makes the Explorer less useful for research questions that turn on where chip production is actually happening. See the dataset documentation for further details.
Uses that require highly up-to-date data. The dataset used in this tool reflects researchers' understanding of the supply chain for advanced chips as of early 2021. We believe the data still give a good overall picture of the global semiconductor supply chain, but specific data points may be out of date.
Sources and methodology
All of the data used in this tool comes from ETO's Advanced Semiconductor Supply Chain Dataset. This open-access dataset reflects researchers' understanding of the supply chain for advanced chips as of early 2021 and draws on a wide variety of sources, such as corporate websites and disclosures, specialized market research, and industry group publications. Read more >>
The Explorer includes three different filters (plus the "Specific Inputs" filter, which takes you directly to details for the selected tool or material). These filters apply highlighting to stages and inputs, but not processes (which will be faded out whenever a filter is active).
Here's how they work:
The Supplier Countries filter highlights stages and inputs according to the cumulative market share of the selected country or countries. (A country's market share is equal to the total market share of companies headquartered in that country.) There are six different shades of highlighting:
When quantitative market share data is available for an element, the shades correspond to 0% cumulative market share, 1-20%, 21-40%, 41-60%, 61-80%, and 81-100%.
When quantitative market share data is not available for an element, a medium shade is applied if a selected country is a supplier; the shade will darken if multiple selected countries are suppliers.
The Supplier Companies filter is a binary filter that highlights stages and elements supplied (to any extent) by the selected company, or (if more than one company is selected) by any one of the selected companies.
The Market Concentration filter highlights stages and inputs according to how many countries supply them. There are three different shades of highlighting:
The darkest shade is applied if suppliers in a single country control more than 75% of the total market.
Otherwise, a medium shade is applied if suppliers in three or fewer countries control 75% of the total market.
Otherwise, no shading is applied.
How is it updated?
The Explorer is currently considered stable. Depending on user feedback, we may fix bugs or add new features to the interface from time to time, but no major upgrades are currently planned. However, we do plan to periodically update the data used in the interface. Read more >>
How can I report an issue?
Use our general issue reporting form, or click on the "Submit feedback" icons embedded in the tool to report issues related to specific data points.