Skip to main content

Major Earthquake in Taiwan Halts Some Apple Chip Production Lines

A major earthquake in Taiwan has halted some TSMC chip production lines, potentially impacting the manufacture of Apple devices (via Bloomberg).


A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan in the early hours of the morning, causing significant damage to infrastructure and disrupting operations at several TSMC key manufacturing sites. Sources familiar with TSMC's operations said that the company's N3 fab in Tainan suffered structural damage, with beams and columns broken, leading to an outright halt in production. EUV machines, essential for manufacturing processes below 7nm, have stopped, and research and development labs have been subject to significant damage, such as cracked walls. Another fab in Hsinchu reported broken pipelines and extensive damage to wafers, necessitating a halt in production.

Some of TSMC's high-end chips, such as the 3nm A17 Pro in the iPhone 15 Pro and ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max, require round-the-clock operations and a stable vacuum environment for several weeks. As a result, some high-end chips already in production are likely to have been spoiled even if they were not damaged directly.

All of the custom silicon processors in Apple's devices are supplied by TSMC. As such, the earthquake's immediate effects on TSMC's facilities have raised concerns about potential delays in Apple's product supply chain. The chipmaker has taken immediate action to assess the damage and initiate recovery procedures, with some production lines expected to resume operation today, but the full extent of the impact on Apple's supply chain remains uncertain.

TSMC has historically placed a strong emphasis on disaster preparedness, especially following a major earthquake in 1999. The company has since implemented rigorous seismic management measures designed to mitigate the risks posed by earthquakes, including post-earthquake inspections, the installation of dampers and shock absorbers, and the integration of equipment vibration reduction technologies.

Apple is in the midst of ramping up production for its upcoming product releases, so significant disruptions in the supply of TSMC-manufactured chips could potentially delay product launches or limit availability. That being said, Apple is known for its robust supply chain management strategies, which will likely help mitigate the immediate effects of the earthquake on the company's product timelines and availability.
Tags: TSMC, Taiwan

This article, "Major Earthquake in Taiwan Halts Some Apple Chip Production Lines" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums



Source: TechRadar

Popular posts from this blog

Apple and Meta Reportedly Discussed AI Partnership for iOS 18

Apple has held discussions with Meta about integrating the Facebook owner's AI model into iOS 18 as part of its Apple Intelligence feature set, according to a report over the weekend. Meta launched Llama 2, its large language model, in July 2023, and in April, the company released the latest versions of its AI models, called Llama 3 . The Wall Street Journal reports that the two longtime rivals have held talks about offering Meta's model as an additional option to OpenAI's ChatGPT. The paywalled report notes that the discussions haven't been finalized and could fall through. As part of Apple Intelligence, Apple has announced a partnership with OpenAI that will allow Siri to access ChatGPT directly in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia to provide better responses in relevant situations. Using ChatGPT will be optional, so users with concerns about the technology can abstain and still make use of Apple's own new AI features. Speaking at WWDC 2024, Apple's

Apple Wasn't Interested in AI Partnership With Meta Due to Privacy Concerns

Apple turned down an AI partnership with Facebook parent company Meta due to privacy concerns, according to a report from Bloomberg . Meta and Apple had a brief discussion about a possible partnership in March, but the talks did not progress and Apple does not plan to integrate Meta's large language model (LLM) into iOS. Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal suggested that Apple and Meta were in active discussions about integrating Llama, Facebook's LLM, into iOS 18 as part of Apple Intelligence. The report suggested that the discussions were ongoing had not been finalized, but Bloomberg 's follow-up indicates Apple never seriously considered a partnership. Preliminary talks happened at the same time that Apple began discussions with OpenAI and Google parent company Alphabet, but Apple decided not to move on to a more formal discussion because "it doesn't see that company's privacy practices as stringent enough." Apple did end up signing a d

iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 16 Pro: 60+ Upgrades to Expect

The iPhone 16 Pro is set to succeed 2023's iPhone 15 Pro , introducing over 25 new features and improvements to Apple's high-end smartphones. With many users adopting three-year upgrade cycles, plenty of iPhone 13 Pro owners will be looking to upgrade to the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ later this year, so this guide breaks down every major difference you should be aware of between the two generations based on rumors. The ‌‌iPhone 13‌‌ Pro debuted in 2021, introducing a brighter display with ProMotion technology for refresh rates up to 120Hz, the A15 Bionic chip, a telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, macro photography and photographic styles, Cinematic mode for recording videos with shallow depth of field, ProRes video recording, a 1TB storage option, and up to five hours of additional battery life. Three years later, the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ is expected to offer over 60 upgrades. All of the changes the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ models are expected to feature compared to their 2021 predecessors

macOS Sequoia Adds iCloud Support for macOS 15 Virtual Machines

Apple is introducing a notable enhancement to its virtualization framework in macOS Sequoia by enabling Mac users to sign into iCloud within macOS virtual machines (VMs). Previously, users could not sign into iCloud on macOS VMs, which limited the framework's utility for developers needing to test iCloud features and for users looking to sync their apps with iCloud. As spotted by ArsTechnica , macOS Sequoia removes that barrier, provided that both the host and guest operating systems are macOS 15 or newer. The feature will be available on Apple silicon Macs, but it has some limitations. Developers aiming to run older macOS versions alongside macOS 15 in a VM or those who upgrade VMs from older macOS versions will not be able to sign into iCloud on the VM. Only brand-new VMs created from a macOS 15 install image (an .ipsw file) can utilize iCloud and services related to Apple Account (formerly Apple ID). Apple's virtualization framework documentation explains : "Wh