TSMC Making iPhone 13 Chips Hit by Gas Contamination in Taiwan

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 30 Jul 2021

TSMC Office Lobby

Latest report by Nikkei Asia claims that TSMC or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing’s most significant plant has been crippled by gas contamination. The chipmaking factory is also called “Fab 18” and is responsible for manufacturing advanced chips for Apple products.

Chipsets used in the upcoming iPhone and Mac are manufactured out of the factory. It is not clear to what extent gas contamination has affected the factory.

Some TSMC production lines in the South Taiwan Science Park received certain gases from suppliers that are believed to be contaminated. These were quickly replaced with other gas supplies,” the company told Nikkei, adding that the contamination was discovered on Thursday night.

Some sources claim the gas contamination “affected the chip manufacturing in a limited way.” It looks like the contamination affected only some parts of the manufacturing facility. To make matters worse, this is the time of year when Apple begins final assembly for upcoming products including the iPhone 13.

TSMC has issued a statement saying they carry out “stringent follow-up” operations to maintain production quality. Furthermore, the company has assured that the event will not hamper its operations. According to a source, TSMC had to call back employees who had gone home to curb the spread.

Our Take

Apple invests a considerable amount of resources in establishing a robust supply chain. A report published earlier this year revealed how Apple overcame shipping delays caused by coronavirus lockdown. The global chip shortage crisis is likely to affect Apple. Earlier this week, Tim Cook commented on semiconductor shortage. He has warned that supply chain constraints could affect iPhone and iPad starting this fall. The iPhone 13 is expected to be launched in September this year.

[via Nikkei]