Fire at Micron's Taichung, Taiwan facility reportedly caused by high-pressure gas leak — no injuries reported, fab operating normally

Visiting Micron Fab 16
(Image credit: Future)

Taiwan's Taichung City Fire Department was dispatched to Micron's Houli plant in Taiwan yesterday, as there was a fire due to a leak in the high-pressure gas cylinder in the supply room. Investigations are underway, but there are no injuries or casualties reported. 

According to the reports from the Taichung City Fire Bureau, dozens of firefighters were dispatched to the Micron plant which had its emergency response team working onsite. The workers were immediately evacuated. The site's automatic fire extinguishing system helped to put out the fire, and the leak was reportedly contained quickly. Reports indicate that around two square meters of space was burned as a result. Additional investigation is still underway to find the cause of the high-pressure gas leak. 

These kinds of mass production facilities typically have state-of-the-art alert and suppression systems with an in-house response team onsite. More importantly, due to the series of alerts and responses, the safety of its workers and contractors has not been compromised. It is also confirmed that despite the damage, none of the operations have been affected and the facility is therefore functioning normally. 

The worst-case scenario could have affected manufacturing and subsequently, prices of memory modules globally, similar to the situation with SK Hynix's plant in China. At that facility, they were able to extinguish the fire in two hours, and resumed operations partially after a few days, resulting in its memory pricing increasing up to 19% in 2013. 

A few months ago, we visited Micron's Taichung facility which has three memory chip production buildings, with the most recent A3 fab being constructed in 2021. Along with its facilities operating in Taiwan, Malaysia and Japan, Micron has several expansion plans for the United States, as it will receive $6 billion from the US government which will be using EUV-based process technology and ready for operation in a decade.

Micron Memory currently manufactures a series of memory modules from DDR5 to GDDR6X for DIMMs, SO-DIMMs, and the latest LPCAMM2 memory modules for upcoming laptops and perhaps motherboards. This facility is also the company's largest manufacturing plant for HBM chips, which also tests and assembles HBM3E stacks. Once its plant in Hiroshima begins its operations in 2027, the facility is scheduled to make 1-gamma DRAM

Roshan Ashraf Shaikh
Contributing Writer

Roshan Ashraf Shaikh has been in the Indian PC hardware community since the early 2000s and has been building PCs, contributing to many Indian tech forums, & blogs. He operated Hardware BBQ for 11 years and wrote news for eTeknix & TweakTown before joining Tom's Hardware team. Besides tech, he is interested in fighting games, movies, anime, and mechanical watches.