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COVID Resurgence in Taiwan Raises Concerns Over TSMC's Production

Taiwan
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A new coronavirus outbreak in Taiwan has raised concerns over TSMC's ability to maintain production levels, DigiTimes reported today, especially as the chances of city-wide lockdowns being imposed rise alongside the number of new cases.

Taiwan handled COVID-19 better than most—The Guardian said it reported  1,000 cases and 12 deaths throughout 2020. For comparison, there were more than 2 million cases and 52,000 deaths in New York alone, per The New York Times.

Yet the number of local cases in Taiwan is rising: The Guardian reported that there were 29 on Friday, 180 on Saturday, 206 yesterday, and 333 today, which means "about 91% of Taiwan’s total local caseload has come in the past four days."

DigiTimes reported that this resurgence had led some to worry that "potential coronavirus-induced lockdowns in Taipei and other cities may pose a threat to the local chipmaking industry supply chain, according to industry sources."

TSMC is said to have "stepped up its already stringent precautionary measures against the coronavirus," according to the report, even though it has only had one infected employee, and that was in the early days of the pandemic.

But it's critical for TSMC to maintain production levels right now. The company has made significant commitments to develop new technologies and increase production, but it still expects chip shortages to last until 2023 despite those efforts.

Many products that rely on TSMC-manufactured chips are already in short supply. Any disruptions related to this resurgence of COVID-19 would make it that much harder to find the best graphics cards, the latest Apple devices, and other products.

All of this means TSMC and other Taiwanese foundries are going to face enormous pressure to maintain production levels while they contend with the possibility of new coronavirus-related restrictions, a record drought, and other obstacles besides.

  • InvalidError
    Every time one might think the chip apocalypse might be almost over, another horseman shows up.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    4 horsemen of chipocalypse:
    Pestilence: Covid
    Famine: Cryptocurrency mining/farming
    War: Changes in weather/climate
    Death = ???

    Don't take it seriously, please...
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Phaaze88 said:
    Famine: Cryptocurrency mining/farming
    In TSMC's context, famine would be water and power outages.

    Scalpers and miners snatching nearly everything they possibly can and AIBs marking things off from the production lines to get their slice of the markup pie would be more like gluttony. Normal people just trying to get a single reasonably priced GPU for themselves are split between wrath and envy.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Ah shucks...
    Reply
  • ginthegit
    InvalidError said:
    Every time one might think the chip apocalypse might be almost over, another horseman shows up.

    It would almost appear that they were deliberately causing these problems to keep the prices up. I remeber when the cheap Durions etc were as low as 30-40 in cost.

    They are talking of ramping up production, but wasn't it just last month they were crying about China and Rare earth materials not being available.

    Conclusion

    If one says they are ramping up production with Billions in investment, and thus increasing production then in the next breath complain about raw material availability, one might think this is deliberate, and a point to inflate prices.
    Reply
  • ginthegit
    InvalidError said:
    In TSMC's context, famine would be water and power outages.

    Scalpers and miners snatching nearly everything they possibly can and AIBs marking things off from the production lines to get their slice of the markup pie would be more like gluttony. Normal people just trying to get a single reasonably priced GPU for themselves are split between wrath and envy.

    However, though Nvidia shows disgust for this process of using cards as Mining tools, they are over the moon. The locking of Bios's etc to stop this process is the equivalent of virtue signaling to their loyal fan base to make them look good, and stay loyal for Longer.

    Further more, this type of over demand leads to Inflated prices and Bubbles, and all manufacturers welcome such things as it means higher profits.

    Almost seems like a cartel of Fabrication companies conviniently using COVID and other natural problems to create more artificial ones. Maybe its a plea for help, now that Joe Biden is investing so much into Semiconductor companies to bring back production to the US. <<Removed by moderator>>
    Reply
  • ginthegit
    Phaaze88 said:
    4 horsemen of chipocalypse:
    Pestilence: Covid
    Famine: Cryptocurrency mining/farming
    War: Changes in weather/climate
    Death = ???

    Don't take it seriously, please...

    Love the spoiler mate... You actually see things for what they really are, unlike most at THW.
    Reply
  • COLGeek
    Given the spread of COVID-19 around the globe, the lack of vaccines in many places (or a willingness to receive them), any sufficiently large gathering of humanoids is going to result in (local) outbreaks. Kind of the way a virus works.

    Supply chains, transportation, fabs, etc are all such places. Only logical to see impacted production issues and consequential delays/shortages due to demand.

    TSMC is certainly not alone in this regard.
    Reply