The power failure occurred at 11:06 a.m. local time when a Qi Construction Co. Ltd. factory. under construction in the Tainan sub-sector, where the TSMC plant is located, accidentally cutting a drop cable of 161 KV belonging to Taipower. For this reason, TSMC’s Fab 14 located in the same area suffered severe voltage drops, damaged products and shutdown machinery.
Over 7 hours without power in TSMC’s 12nm factory
The power was not restored until more than 7 hours later, at 6:23 p.m. local time, and in the meantime TSMC had to use the power of its emergency generators They run on gasoline, according to United Daily News reports. The factory also clarified that there was no risk or safety issue for its workers during the cut and no one had to be evacuated as a result.
For now, the plant is operating again but with its own back-up power line, with its gasoline-powered generators, and the Taipower power company is expected to complete the repairs by 5:00 p.m. local time tomorrow, i.e. that she will have to spend more than two days using their own generators.
Due to the power outage, Taiwanese industry sources expect TSMC’s production damage to reach millions of dollars. While the company has yet to provide official information on the damage, it is expected to do so tomorrow as it said it was still assessing the situation.
Millionaire losses for TSMC
It is estimated that some 30,000 wafers were affected due to a power failure. Plant P7 at Plant 14B, at the center of the epidemic, would have a monthly production capacity of 40,000 wafers. Judging by this, the loss estimate seems exaggerated, so it should not be taken as frozen unless more details are revealed.
Using TSMC’s revenue per tranche estimates and deriving from a series of unofficial tranche damage reports, we can speculate on the monetary damage the business will suffer from a single power outage. It is estimated that TSMC earns an average of $ 1,624 per tranche and assuming at least 1000 tranches have been lost or unused, this results in a loss of $ 1.6 million. However, we must also add to this figure all the pads that were not made during the 7 hours they were without electricity, of course.
If we dig a little deeper and use the previous IBS estimate that the selling price of a wafer is $ 5,912, the cost of wastage is multiplied by 5, still only considering 1,000 wafers and not of the 30,000 they say. The previous estimate is a loss of materials for TSMC, and this other is an estimate of the value of sales, that is, the money TSMC will stop making because it cannot sell the lost pads.
In all cases, it will be necessary to wait for TSMC to finish its calculation of the damages and to make an official declaration. In any case, this power failure and losses for the company should not affect the hardware industry since, as we said at the beginning, the 12nm factory concerned mainly manufactures chips for the industry. automobile.