COVID-19 Clusters Raising Big Concerns Regarding Taiwan Chip Supply Stability
Over the last several weeks the Taiwan semiconductor industry has taken several hits due to a variety of disasters, worsening droughts and rolling blackouts. These impacts are further straining an existing international semiconductor shortage. This even includes the US where a shortage of critical chips has hurt the production of new vehicles.
COVID-19 outbreaks at Taiwanese Chipmakers are just another threat to global supplies. As Taiwan continues to grapple with a sudden spike in cases, the Cabinet announced on Monday, June 7, that Taiwan will be extending its coronavirus restrictions for another two weeks and adding more prevention measures to control outbreak. Per Cabinet spokesman, Lo Ping-Cheng, the current Level 3 epidemic alert, one level short of a full lockdown, will remain in place until June 28.
Impacted Manufacturers by COVID-19 Clusters:
- King Yuan Electronics (KYEC)
KYEC is the world’s leading provider of chip testing services including wafer probing, final product test, and assembly service for the semiconductor backend supply chain. KYEC is the second-largest firm in terms of testing revenue and the largest professional pure-play testing company worldwide. It is a key supplier to Qualcomm, Intel, Nvidia, MediaTek, and Novatek.
KYEC recently has suspended production for two days due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the company’s foreign workers at its Miaoli and Hsinchu sites. These two sites are the main hub of the island’s chip industry which accounts for around 80% of its revenue.
With the government placing around 2,000 of its overseas workers (30% of its workforce) into 14-day quarantine, KYEC has turned to temporary local workers to get its production lines running again.
- Greatek Electronics Inc.
Greatek, a supplier to Taiwanese chip developers such as Phison and Realtek, is an affiliate of Powertech – the world’s largest memory chip packaging and testing supplier. The company is testing 4,000 of its employees for COVID-19. More than 1,000 of them are migrant workers.
To date over a dozen employees at logic IC packager Greatek Electronics have tested positive. The company, however, has no plans to suspend its fab operations according to company CEO Boris Hsieh. He stresses that Greatek has performed well in pandemic control and therefore will not enforce a temporary production halt for disinfection.
- Accton Technology
As of June 7, Networking device maker Accton Technology has said that operation of its plant in Chunan, northern Taiwan, has remained normal after 12 employees of the plant were confirmed COVID-19 positive. Accton said the Chunan plant, which has 10 SMT lines, is still operating at normal capacity after fine-tuning its automated production lines.
Accton, which counts many US-based datacenters as its clients, claim that the impacts of the infections on its overall operations would be limited due to their ability to support from their other production bases that also include China.
How will this affect your supply chain? SiliconExpert could help
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By Hala Mohamed
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