11 Apr

Minimal Impact on Chipmakers Reported After Taiwan Earthquake

    Despite the severity of the 7.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday, the heart of Taiwan’s crucial tech manufacturing sector seems to have avoided significant damage.

    The earthquake epicenter was near Hualien, a coastal town approximately 100 miles from Taipei, the capital city. It marked the most powerful earthquake to hit Taiwan in 25 years and has tragically resulted in 10 deaths. The quake’s impact was felt throughout the entire island, with numerous aftershocks, some exceeding a magnitude of 6.0. There are concerns of further aftershocks, possibly as strong as magnitude 7, in the days ahead.

    Despite visible tremors in Taipei, Taiwan’s tech industry appears to have dodged major disruptions. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), a key player in the semiconductor industry, temporarily halted production and evacuated employees as a precaution. However, TSMC later confirmed that all employees were safe, and production lines are gradually resuming operations.

    According to a TSMC spokesperson, initial inspections revealed no significant damage to their construction sites, which are undergoing expansion. Further inspections are planned before construction resumes.

    Analysts also indicate minimal disruption. Vladimir Galabov, a senior analyst at Omdia, stated that TSMC and Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) anticipate limited impact. He mentioned that semiconductor fabs are not operating at full capacity, except for those using advanced nodes like 3/4/5nm, which should mitigate the impact.

    Jim McGregor from Tirias Research echoed similar sentiments, noting that temporary shutdowns are standard procedure and shouldn’t immediately affect supply or manufacturing.

    Intel confirmed the safety of its Taiwan employees and expressed confidence in their operational continuity.

    As of now, the earthquake has not caused significant disruptions in Taiwan’s supply chain.

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