TSMC Plant Hit by Temporary Power Outage

By: SiliconExpert on April 21st, 2021

On April 14, 2021 the world’s largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), reported a seven-hour power outage at their Tainan Science Park plant.  TSMC reports that this power outage directly impacted the production of their 40-nanometer chips.

TSMC facilities include four 12-inch wafer fabs, four 8-inch wafer fabs, one 6-inch wafer fab, and one 12-inch wafer fab at a wholly-owned subsidiary, TSMC Nanjing Company Limited – all located in Taiwan.  TSMC also has two 8-inch wafer fabs at wholly-owned subsidiaries WaferTech in the United States and TSMC China Company Limited.

According to the state-run Taiwan Power Co., the seven-hour power outage was caused by an electric cable that was damaged amidst some construction work that was occurring near the power substation at the science park plant. TSMC switched to their diesel generators for backup power. There were no required evacuations or safety issues related to this outage.

TSMC’s Fab-14 P7 located at the Southern Taiwan Science Park was the fab directly impacted by the outage.  This site is responsible for fabricating 45/40nm and 16/12nm semiconductors production lines and higher process nodes which are used to supply chips destined for the automotive industry. The following suppliers are impacted:

  • Automotive Microcontrollers
  • Microprocessors,
  • FPGAs
  • Application Processors
  • SOCs

This being another contributor to a series of incidence negatively impacting the semiconductor industry including a temporary suspension of Samsung’s foundry in Austin, Texas, due to weather-related power outages and a fire at a Renesas fab, TSMC operations are being closely monitored by its customers (including Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc) due to the global shortage of chips.  This shortage is impacting everything  from cars to washing machines.  Unofficial estimates suggest that the overall market damages could amount to millions of New Taiwan dollars.

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By Hala Mohamed

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