TSMC faces the threat of water shortage, semiconductor supply regeneration variables

Taiwan semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd., UMC, and World Advanced Manufacturing Company began to implement water-borne water-borne measures yesterday, highlighting that these three major semiconductor indicator plants have raised the level of water famine alert. At the time when the foundry capacity is in short supply, the water situation has become a new uncertainty factor that interferes with the production of the industry. It affects the global semiconductor market conditions. If the water cannot be used, a new wave of price increases and chip shortages will be triggered.

The off-season of the foundry is not short in the first quarter, and the advanced and mature processes are fully loaded. However, the recent rainfall south of Hsinchu has not been as expected. From tomorrow onwards, the industrial water reduction ratio will be increased to 11%. The nerves of the major water users in Taiwan are tense, especially Semiconductor factories are even tightening their clockwork and actively raising new water sources to respond.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd., UMC, and World Advanced Technology all confirmed yesterday that in response to the emergency of the water situation, they have initiated water-based water measures. Parts of TSMC’s North, Central and South plants are supported by water vehicles.

The world’s advanced Hsinchu plant also dispatches some water trucks for water supply; UMC has also taken the lead to report to the Science and Technology Management Bureau and will initiate water truck water measures to ensure stable production.

After Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. reported yesterday that it launched water-borne water measures, it has aroused great concern in the industry. TSMC accounts for more than 50% of the global foundry market. Its customers include major manufacturers such as Apple, Qualcomm, and Nvidia. Production is not tolerant of errors. The industry believes that TSMC started to launch water tankers yesterday, which means that the foundry leader has raised the level of water shortage warning. .

According to industry analysis, TSMC currently has sporadic needs for waterwheel scheduling in some plants. The research and judgment are mainly to support the continuous increase in water demand for advanced processes below 16 nanometers.

The world’s advanced plant in Zhuke also asked for water from a waterwheel yesterday. The world advanced pointed out that in response to the tight water conditions in Hsinchu, it has simultaneously strengthened water-saving measures to reduce non-production water consumption. UMC said that the current water saving rate will not affect production.

Large-scale water companies such as Zhongke Semiconductor and Optoelectronics are also actively responding to this wave of water shortages. The China Science and Technology Administration revealed that, taking TSMC as an example, there are related contingency measures for each water restriction stage. Recently, water truck water supply related filing measures have been started successively, including pressure tests such as traffic lines, train times, and smoothness.

The 6-inch round foundry Mosil and the memory chip manufacturer Winbond have not yet announced measures to start the waterwheel. Winbond emphasized that three water-saving policies have been initiated internally, including actively increasing the water recovery rate of the process, and reducing domestic water and landscape irrigation in the plant to reduce the water demand of the whole plant, and finally the completion of the water truck transportation and replenishment plan.

In terms of panel double tigers, AUO stated that it has implemented a continuous water shortage operation plan in accordance with the water restriction policy at various stages, including real-time monitoring of water conditions, implementation of water-saving measures, assessment of supply chain impacts, and implementation of water-carrying water. Innolux pointed out that the current water-saving rate is in line with the water-restriction target, and there is no need to use waterwheels for the time being.

Samsung, NXP: Austin fab is still shutting down

Due to power shortages across the state, Samsung has not resumed all operations of its Austin manufacturing plant after Samsung was shut down last week. Industry experts say this situation could cost the technology giant millions of dollars.

Samsung is the largest power user in the Austin energy grid and one of several large industrial power users who had to shut down their Austin operations during the Texas freeze. Samsung resumed power supply on Saturday, but the company confirmed that it has not resumed work at its Austin factory.

“Although we are currently working hard to resume operations as soon as possible, the process may take more time to reach normal levels when inspecting and reconfiguring facilities. Our main focus is to ensure the safety of employees and our site.” Samsung spokesperson Michele Glaze said.

Last week, a consortium called the “Clean, Economical, and Reliable Energy Alliance” represented the city’s largest e-commerce company in negotiations with Austin Energy. The consortium confirmed that the city ordered the company due to ongoing power shortages. Idle or shut down. The reason for the closure is that many Austin houses have no electricity and residents are facing potentially dangerous conditions.

Industry experts estimate that between product loss and production days, the shutdown could cost Samsung millions of dollars.

Matt Bryson, an analyst and senior research vice president at Wedbush Securities, said: “The weekly production losses are huge. This will cost you hundreds of millions of dollars in production income. This is a huge blow.” Bryson said. About one-quarter to one-third of the company’s manufacturing plants are located in Austin, and the Samsung factory in Austin usually operates 24 hours a day.

Bryson said that once the wafer or semiconductor chip enters the production process, the shutdown will result in product loss. Each batch of wafers may take 45 to 60 days to produce, so any product that is lost will require weeks of work. He said that even if there is no material loss, stopping production will still slow down the process, and it will still take more time to put the factory back into production.

Bryson said: “You don’t have to restart everything immediately. It can be done process by process, line by line. It depends on the interruption.” “Not only is it hitting the light switch, but the fab will also shut down, and you hit again It, the fab will restart.”

NXP spokesperson Jacey Zuniga said on Tuesday that NXP Semiconductors has not resumed full production at its Austin plant. The company said last week that it had idled all equipment at its two Austin plants.

Zuniga said: “We are working hard to conduct product, equipment and system evaluations to resume operations as soon as possible.” “Due to the damage caused by utility disruptions and other on-site impacts caused by winter storms, this process may take more time to reach normal levels. Our focus is on the health and safety of our employees and the Austin community.”

Ed Latson, executive director of the Austin Area Manufacturers Association, said that for companies that had to interrupt operations due to winter storms, the financial loss could be significant. His organization works with approximately 1,700 companies that have operations in central Texas, including Samsung, NXP Semiconductors, and National Instruments.

Ratson said: “Electricity and natural resources are vital to their operations. To take away these resources, they must basically shut down all equipment and all work in progress will be lost.” “Economic loss is destruction. Sexual.”

Roger Kay, an industry analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, said the cost of a semiconductor factory during the shutdown period could be as high as $3 million per day.

Kay said: “The problem is that those factories must have reliable electricity, which does mean that Texas must be linked to the national grid.” “But I don’t think this will happen anytime soon.”

Patrick Moorhead, a technology industry analyst and founder of Austin-based consulting firm Moor Insights and Strategy, said that closing the fab is a complicated process, and it may take several days to a whole week to reactivate the fab. He said that if any problems occur, it may take several weeks.

Moorhead said: “For example, if a molecule of water enters the tool, it may stop production completely. A fab uses very special gases, liquids and substances that are difficult to store after being removed from storage. And put it back, Moorhead said.

In fact, before the winter storms, during the coronavirus pandemic, the semiconductor industry was already dealing with production and supply chain issues. Bryson said that in recent months, the supply of chips produced by global semiconductor companies has been tight, resulting in a shortage of many products from automobiles to notebook computers that cannot be completed without this technology.

Samsung also hopes to expand its business in Austin. In early February, Samsung officially confirmed that Austin is considering building a $17 billion advanced chip factory. According to documents submitted to the state government, the company is seeking more than $1 billion in taxpayer subsidy incentives from local government entities.


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