Watch Out For Scavengers In Your Laundry Room
ASML Holding is a fair sized semiconductor manufacturer, if you’ve never heard of them it is because they don’t make the sexy silicon, instead they make the smaller components which all electronics rely on. They, like everyone else, have run afoul of supply shortages which are reducing their ability to manufacture their products. They have found a rather unique solution to this problem, buying large lots of washing machines to strip the chips out of them.
The story linked by Slashdot doesn’t specify what chips they are harvesting but smart washing machines are likely a treasure trove of chips. The display driver for the screen, touch sensors, Wi-Fi connectivity and even timers are all chips which can be repurposed in other devices. ASML Holding chose new machines, but they are likely to also be in short supply so it is likely that used and scrapped washing machines just became very valuable; as long as they are ‘smart’ ones.
It is great to see IoT devices do something that is actually useful for a change.