Today, millions of products - cars, washing machines, smartphones, and more - rely on computer chips, also known as semiconductors.
And right now, there just aren't enough of them to meet industry demand. As a result, many popular products are in short supply.
It has become almost impossible to buy a PS5 games console. Toyota, Ford and Volvo have had to either slow or temporarily halt production at their factories. Smartphone makers are feeling the pinch too, with Apple warning that the shortage could affect iPhone sales.
Even companies that wouldn't necessarily be associated with computer chips haven't been spared, such as CSSI international, a US firm that makes dog-grooming machines, is feeling the effects.
Some shoppers have already noticed these problems. Sales of used-cars are up, for instance, because new vehicles, often packed with thousands of individual chips, are in short supply.
Kris Halpin, a musician based in North Warwickshire, is one of many who have experienced disappointment. Mr Halpin has cerebral palsy and leases a car through the Motability scheme.