What impact did the sudden 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan have on the electronics industry? Here is a summary of responses from TSMC, Micron, etc. ·  Apr 3 20:31

Source: Science and Technology Innovation Board Daily

① When an earthquake of magnitude 3 or above occurs, some equipment in the semiconductor factory will activate an automatic protection mechanism to shut down the equipment, causing the wafer to break; if a magnitude 4 earthquake occurs, the personnel in the clean room must be evacuated. ② Various semiconductor/panel manufacturers such as TSMC, Micron, UMC, and Innchuang have responded to the impact of the earthquake>>

At 07:58 on April 3, an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 occurred in the waters of Hualien County in Taiwan (23.81 degrees north latitude and 121.74 degrees east longitude), with a depth of 12 kilometers; then, a strong 6.5 magnitude earthquake occurred at 08:11, followed by continuous small-scale aftershocks.

The earthquake center of the Taiwan Meteorological Administration said that there may be aftershocks of magnitude 6.5 to 7.0 in the next 3-4 days. This earthquake was also the largest earthquake since the “921 Earthquake” in Taiwan in 1999.

▌What impact did the earthquake have on the electronics industry?

As a major electronics industry center in China and the world, Taiwan is home to many major manufacturers such as TSMC and UMC. For these manufacturers, there is no shortage of water and electricity even for a moment. Once suspended, it will cost a huge amount of shutdown costs, and even falsely argue about the “fatal injury” effects caused by large-scale earthquakes.

When an earthquake of magnitude 3 or above occurs, some equipment in the semiconductor factory will activate an automatic protection mechanism to shut down the equipment. At this time, wafers in processes such as sputtering will lose their vacuum environment due to power failure, causing wafer fragmentation; in addition to wafer damage and scrapping, manufacturers also clean up subsequent debris, so wafer damage alone will cause a huge loss in output value.

Furthermore, according to disaster prevention regulations for clean rooms such as semiconductor and panel factories, if a magnitude 4 earthquake occurs in the factory area, clean room personnel must be evacuated to prevent toxic gas and liquid leakage accidents.

It is worth noting that in the area where semiconductor and panel factories are concentrated in Taiwan, the maximum earthquake intensity was magnitude 5 in Taichung and Hsinchu County, and the maximum earthquake intensity in Hsinchu City and Tainan was magnitude 4. TSMC, UMC, and Micron all have factories in these areas.

According to the Hsinchu Science Park, TSMC and Zhunan Liandian have partially stopped work, Zhunan Inntron Optoelectronics has also partially ceased operations, and Jingyuan Electronics and Tomei Technology employees have all been evacuated. Hsinchu Science Park panel manufacturer Youda Optoelectronics, as well as semiconductor supply chain companies Wanghong Electronics, PSMC, and UMC are all operating normally.

Nanke Park announced that the magnitude of the earthquake at Inntron Plant B, TSMC Plant 18, and Hanyu Caijing was magnitude 4, and that the intensity of the earthquake at Inntron Kaohsiung Plant F was level 3. The area was reported to have been unaffected.

The evacuation of employees from the Bamboo Clean Room during the earthquake (Source: Taiwan Economic Daily)

▌What is the specific feedback from local manufacturers?

After the earthquake this morning, Taiwan's local science park and electronics factory all initiated response procedures as soon as possible, carried out necessary personnel evacuations and equipment inspections, and followed up on the follow-up situation. According to various local media sources, the extent to which major electronics manufacturers are currently affected is as follows:

Semiconductor foundry leader TSMC:

TSMC told the “Science and Technology Innovation Board Daily” reporter today that in order to ensure the safety of personnel, relevant preventive measures have been initiated in accordance with the company's internal procedures, and some factory areas have been evacuated. Currently, all personnel are safe and have begun to return to work one after another. Details are yet to be confirmed.

TSMC's plant design is mainly grade 7. Currently, some quartz tubes are broken and the wafers on the line are partially damaged. Some machines have been suspended for shutdown inspections to avoid deviation; TSMC's bamboo and nanke production lines have been temporarily shut down to estimate damage.

Furthermore, the current inspection of conditions at various construction sites in Taiwan is initially normal. Due to safety considerations, it has been decided to stop construction at construction sites in various parts of Taiwan today, and construction will not be carried out until the inspection is carried out. TSMC is currently constructing plants in Baoshan and Kaohsiung in Hsinchu, and there are also projects underway for advanced packaging CoWoS. It remains to be seen whether the future will affect the installation progress.

According to the current situation, the corporation estimates that the number of working hours affected by TSMC was less than 6 hours, affecting TSMC's second-quarter financial estimates of about 60 million US dollars. The impact on gross margin for the second quarter was estimated to be less than 0.5 percentage points, and the overall impact was limited.

Micron, the leading memory chip:

Operations and supply chains after the earthquake are being assessed; all employees are safe, and Micron's DRAM production in Taiwan accounts for about 60% of the company's overall DRAM production capacity.

Semiconductor wafer foundry UMC:

Bamboo and Nanke personnel were evacuated in accordance with operating standards. All personnel were safe, factory facilities were normal, some equipment was shut down, and engineers are working hard to take stock and restore the aircraft.

Semiconductor wafer manufacturer LSMC:

The factory personnel were evacuated, all personnel were safe, and some machines were stopped preventively. The exact impact is still being counted.

Semiconductor equipment company Tokyo Weili Technology Innovation (TEL):

The company has four factories in Taiwan, and confirmed that its buildings were damaged in some way during the earthquake, no long-term effects are expected, and all employees are safe.

Semiconductor wafer supplier Global Crystal:

Currently, plant and equipment engineers are checking the condition of all facilities one by one.

Semiconductor sealing and testing manufacturer Sun Moon Light Investment Control:

Currently, the company is operating normally.

Memory manufacturer South Asia Group:

Personnel confirmed safety, some equipment shut down preventively, and safety inspections are currently being carried out.

Memory manufacturer Huabang Electronics:

Currently, personnel are safe, factory operations are operating normally, and the actual impact is being assessed.

Panel supplier Innolux:

The safety of factory personnel was confirmed in accordance with standard procedures as soon as possible. Personnel were evacuated in some factory areas. Currently, personnel safety is being carried out; some equipment in the factory area has initiated a protective automatic shutdown, and system inspections are being carried out, which has little impact on the operation of the factory area.

Panel supplier AUO:

There are many factory areas in northern Taiwan, covering Longtan, Hsinchu, and Taichung. Factory personnel have been evacuated, and the effects of the earthquake are still being understood.

Foundry plants Guangda, Renbao, Weichuang, Inventec, Heshuo, etc.:

The production line and operation are currently normal, and the situation is being continuously monitored.

Optical manufacturers Daliguang and Yu Jingguang:

There is no impact on production capacity, and the production line is still operating normally.


The translation is provided by third-party software.

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