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TSMC’s N3 Factory Faces Structural Damage, Impacting Apple’s Chip Production Line

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake occurred in the waters of Hualien County (23.81 degrees north latitude, 121.74 degrees east longitude) in Taiwan, China. A 6.0-magnitude earthquake occurred at 8:11 minutes, and again at 8:35 minutes. An earthquake of around magnitude 5.6.

The Hualien earthquake caused strong earthquakes to be felt throughout the island of Taiwan. The earthquakes were clearly felt in Fujian and Guangdong, and there were also earthquake feedback in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shanghai and other places. In addition, tsunamis have occurred in Japan’s Okinawa main island, Miyako Island and other places, and the wave height can reach about 3 meters.

Bloomberg reported that the Hualien earthquake caused the shutdown of some TSMC chip production lines, severely affecting the manufacturing of Apple’s 3nm chips.

Sources familiar with TSMC’s operations said that TSMC’s N3 wafer fab in Tainan suffered structural damage, with beams and columns broken, causing production to come to a complete halt. EUV lithography machines for processes below 7nm have also stopped operating, and the R&D laboratory There was also extensive damage, such as cracks in the walls. Another wafer fab in Hsinchu also suffered pipe ruptures and extensive damage, forcing it to suspend production.

Sources pointed out that some of TSMC’s high-end chips, such as Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro series equipped with A17 bionic chips, need to be produced in a stable vacuum environment for several weeks. Therefore, even if the earthquake does not cause direct damage, some chips that have already been put into production will be indirectly scrapped. .

Therefore, the direct impact of the Hualien earthquake on TSMC has triggered industry concerns about potential delays in the Apple product supply chain. Currently, TSMC has taken immediate action to assess the damage and initiate recovery procedures. Some production lines are expected to resume operations today, but the overall impact of the earthquake on Apple’s supply chain remains unclear.

It was previously reported that TSMC said that some factory areas have been evacuated and that all personnel are currently safe and have begun to return to work. Details are yet to be confirmed.

Bloomberg believes that Apple’s new generation 3nm chip is in the mass production stage before its release, so major disruptions in TSMC’s supply may delay the release of new products or limit supply.

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Stephen Cruise
Stephen Cruisehttps://www.techgoing.com
Stephen Cruise is a senior editor covering latest smartphones, EVs, PC gaming, console, and tech with 11 years of experience.

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