TSMC Staff Was Forced To Evacuate, As Production Comes To A Halt Caused By A Massive Earthquake With A 7.4 Magnitude

A cataclysmic event struck Taiwan, including the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer TSMC, as it was forced to evacuate staff and stop production due to a massive earthquake, which, according to a recent update by NPR, hit near the eastern city of Hualien at 7:58 AM local time. With a magnitude of 7.4, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, it is the strongest earthquake to hit the island in 25 years. A company spokesperson said that upon initial inspection, the construction appeared to be normal, but regular work at the sites was suspended. A statement has also been given below:

“TSMC’s safety systems are operating normally. To ensure the safety of personnel, some fabs were evacuated according to company procedure. We are currently confirming the details of the impact.”

However, as reported by DigiTimes, TSMC’s N3 production plant saw its beams and columns broken, and the production lines were halted. EUV machines have all stopped, while its R&D lab also saw its wall cracked. More information claims that another fab in Hsinchu has its pipelines broken. The production line was stopped due to extensive damage to wafers, but the positive outcome from all of this is that work is expected to resume in six hours.

Image taken from a video footage run by TVBS shows residents rescue a child from a partially collapsed building in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024

After the first earthquake happened in 1999, TSMC established certain countermeasures to strengthen its buildings and minimize losses in the event that history repeats itself. Still, analysts stated that after deducting the insurance compensations, TSMC is estimated to bear a loss of around $62 million. While production might resume in a few hours, no word has been given as to how many chip shipments were affected by the earthquake.

In addition to iPhone chipsets, TSMC also produces SoCs for other products, such as Macs, Apple Watches, and more. While having strong business relationships with other companies such as Qualcomm, MediaTek, NVIDIA, AMD, and others, it is likely that their shipments might also have been affected. We will wait for an official statement from the foundry giant before providing more details. According to Taiwan media, the last earthquake of a magnitude of 7 or greater to hit the island was called ‘Jiji’, and it struck the region on September 21, 1999.

The image was taken from a video footage run by TVBS, showing a partially collapsed building seen in Hualien, eastern Taiwan on Wednesday, April 3, 2024

With a magnitude of 7.3, the earthquake turned thousands of buildings into rubble and took the lives of approximately 2,400 people. At this time, we can take a moment of silence and hope that Taiwan and its citizens will have all the support they need to move on from this harrowing event.

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