There is a huge shortage of chips this year because the production capacity of chip foundries is generally tight. However, at the critical moment when the production capacity needed to be increased, some factories stopped production due to accidents. The large-scale blackout caused by the Blizzard in Texas in February led to the suspension of production at the Austin factories of Samsung, NXP, and Infineon. In March, a fire broke out at Renesas Electronics’ chip factory in Naka, Japan. This led to the suspension of many production lines, two-thirds of which were automotive chip production lines. Now, TSMC’s 14A fab has its own issues.
Judging from the latest report, the wafer 14A factory of TSMC, the world’s largest chip foundry, also suffered a power outage this week due to an accident. Of course, this is also causing the company to suspend some production lines in the factory.
The power outage at TSMC’s wafer 14A plant occurred on Wednesday morning. During the construction process, an underground wire of the plant was accidentally cut off, causing the plant to lose power. TSMC has an alternative, which is the plant’s backup generators. This is supposed to reduce the impact of the power outage. In addition, the power was only off for many hours within the same day. The company was able to restore the power by 7 pm the same day. Nevertheless, the factory’s production capacity is still affected.
TSMC’s plat power outage does not affect any of its flagships manufacturing process
According to reports, due to the power outage, TSMC’s wafer 14A plant P7 production line had to stop production. This halt in production for many hours is affecting the production of no less than 40,000 wafers.
In addition, TSMC’s wafer 14A plant mainly uses 40, 45, 65, and 90nm processes to produce chips for customers. This means that the plant does not produce top-notch or flagship chips. The latest power outage does not have any effect on TSMC’s 5nm or 7nm processes. Thus, the loss is relatively small.
Nevertheless, there are reports that the wafer loss as a result of the sudden power outage could hit $28 million. Well, this is only the lower limit of the loss estimate. According to other reports, the loss could be as high as $35 million. However, the company obviously has insurance that would cover parts if not all the losses.