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Concerns rising over Taiwan chip supply stability

With Taiwan encountering a sudden rise in the number of domestically transmitted COVID-19 infections, concerns about the stability of Taiwan’s IC industry supply chain have emerged.

Taiwan reported 207 new infections on May 16, including one Largan Precision employee infected with the coronavirus, sparking worries about the country’s ability to contain the spread of COVID-19.

TSMC and other Taiwan-based foundries remain diligent in their respective precautionary measures internally against COVID-19, amid concerns over a spike in confirmed cases in Taiwan. Nevertheless, potential coronavirus-induced lockdowns in Taipei and other cities may pose a threat to the local chipmaking industry supply chain, according to industry sources.

As the world’s largest IC foundry with a more than 50% market share, TSMC has stepped up its already stringent precautionary measures against the coronavirus, the sources said. TSMC in early 2020 had one employee infected with the virus.

Taiwan is also where United Microelectronics (UMC), Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS) and Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing (PSMC) are headquartered and run their major factory sites. It remains to be seen whether the latest COVID-19 surge can be brought under control soon and limit its impact on the domestic IC industry supply chain, the sources noted.

TSMC, UMC, VIS and PSMC have all given their upbeat business outlook for 2021, with plans to build additional 12- and 8-inch fab capacities. DigiTimes

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