Wednesday, February 17th 2021

Manufacturing: Samsung Semiconductor Fabs in Texas Shut Down Following State-wide Power Shortages

News just keep flowing that are bound to have impact on pricing for components users of this website know and love. The Austin-American Statesman reports that Samsung has been ordered to shutter its Texas factories in wake of recent power shortages that have impacted the state. The order, which came from Austin Energy, doesn't just affect Samsung: all industrial and semiconductor manufacturers in the state were ordered to idle or shut down their facilities, meaning that NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Semiconductors have also been affected. According to Austin Energy, all companies have complied with the order. A date for the lifting of these restrictions still hasn't been given.

As we know, semiconductor manufacturing is a drawn-out process, with some particular wafers taking several months in their journey from initial fabrication until they reach completion. This meas that it's a particularly sensitive business in regards to power outages or general service interruptions. The entire semiconductor manufacturing lines - and products therein, in various stages of production - can be rendered unusable due to these events, which will have a sizable impact in the final manufacturing output of a given factory. It remains to be seen the scale of this production impact, but a few percentage points difference in the overall global semiconductor manufacturing could have dire implications for availability and pricing, considering the already insufficient operational capacity in regards to demand. Considering the impact adverse temperatures are having on Texas residents, here's hoping for the quick resolution of these problems, which affect much more than just semiconductor manufacturing capabilities.
Sources: Austin-American Statesman, via Tom's Hardware
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92 Comments on Manufacturing: Samsung Semiconductor Fabs in Texas Shut Down Following State-wide Power Shortages

#26
Minus Infinity
Nihilus
Unreliable green energy strikes again. That, and the fact that many Texas homes do not use Natural Gas or Propane to heat their homes.
Unfortunately you can't harnass the energy of sheer ignorance and stupidity, as Texarse would have an infinite supply.

I think you got lost on the way to one of Trump's tweets.
Posted on Reply
#27
Upgrayedd
Minus Infinity
Unfortunately you can't harnass the energy of sheer ignorance and stupidity, as Texarse would have an infinite supply.

I think you got lost on the way to one of Trump's tweets.
It is the very cost of going green. No sun to shine and the turbines are froze. Coal power plants are still running and selling electricity for $4000 per megawatt. Coal is contributing over half of the electric generation in the Southwest Power Pool. If Biden went 8 years and this happened in his 7th there would be many dead cause the coal plants would be shutdown and gone. Though this may just wake his sleepy ass up that you need coal.
You know nothing other than your despise for a political party.

And whoever said it's because they couldn't drive to work to get to the control panel... people actually believe that.
Posted on Reply
#28
R-T-B
qlum
Kind of funny how in Europe the grid is much better connected between countries than the US is within the country.
This lack of general interconnection is purely texas politics. You won't find it elsewhere. It was and remains a dumb idea.
Upgrayedd
And whoever said it's because they couldn't drive to work to get to the control panel... people actually believe that.
Yes, because it's actually whats happening. It's not about how much snow. It's about snow prep. Texas has like exactly zero readiness in this regard.

I know someone living there and roads are absolutely closed.
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#29
Paganstomp
America's third world power grid since 2003. Just think what plugin in electric cars are going to do to it.
Posted on Reply
#30
dragontamer5788
Upgrayedd
It is the very cost of going green. No sun to shine and the turbines are froze. Coal power plants are still running and selling electricity for $4000 per megawatt. Coal is contributing over half of the electric generation in the Southwest Power Pool. If Biden went 8 years and this happened in his 7th there would be many dead cause the coal plants would be shutdown and gone. Though this may just wake his sleepy ass up that you need coal.
You know nothing other than your despise for a political party.

And whoever said it's because they couldn't drive to work to get to the control panel... people actually believe that.
I'm seeing stats like Texas Nuclear lost 25% of its generation while Natural Gas lost 40% of its generation.

Its no small secret that South Texas Nuclear Power Station is offline: along with its ~1GW of power production. Texas is just completely unprepared for the winter. I don't know why some pundits are trying to turn this into an abstract political issue. The story is actually quite simple.
Posted on Reply
#31
Fouquin
Upgrayedd
It is the very cost of going green. No sun to shine and the turbines are froze. Coal power plants are still running and selling electricity for $4000 per megawatt. Coal is contributing over half of the electric generation in the Southwest Power Pool. If Biden went 8 years and this happened in his 7th there would be many dead cause the coal plants would be shutdown and gone. Though this may just wake his sleepy ass up that you need coal.
You know nothing other than your despise for a political party.

And whoever said it's because they couldn't drive to work to get to the control panel... people actually believe that.
Natural gas and oil are both frozen because the pipelines are above ground and uninsulated. ERCOT's own investigative report says 30 gigawatts of grid power from natural gas, coal, and nuclear is offline, while 16 gigawatts of renewable (PVGR and wind) is offline. The impact to renewable generation can't exceed that of other generators, yet it gets all the blame for the reduced grid capacity.

Planting blame on a federal administration that doesn't own, nor operate ERCOT is incredibly funny though. The entire existence of ERCOT is to avoid federal regulation across any section of the grid, be that nuclear, gas, coal, or renewable. Texas makes their own bed, and now they get to sleep in it.
Posted on Reply
#32
Wirko
qlum
Kind of funny how in Europe the grid is much better connected between countries than the US is within the country.
Sure it is. Except when it isn't. We had a large-scale narrow miss last month, when Europe's power grid fell apart into two separate power grids in a matter of seconds. Both survived, which I consider a miracle, given that one had a 6.3 gigawatt power deficit and the other an equally big surplus when it happened.

Power transmission grids seem to be underdeveloped and operating on their limits all too oftern, no matter where you go.

www.entsoe.eu/news/2021/01/26/system-separation-in-the-continental-europe-synchronous-area-on-8-january-2021-2nd-update/
Fouquin
Natural gas and oil are both frozen because the pipelines are above ground and uninsulated. ERCOT's own investigative report says 30 gigawatts of grid power from natural gas, coal, and nuclear is offline, while 16 gigawatts of renewable (PVGR and wind) is offline. The impact to renewable generation can't exceed that of other generators, yet it gets all the blame for the reduced grid capacity.

Planting blame on a federal administration that doesn't own, nor operate ERCOT is incredibly funny though. The entire existence of ERCOT is to avoid federal regulation across any section of the grid, be that nuclear, gas, coal, or renewable. Texas makes their own bed, and now they get to sleep in it.
Cooling water installations in power plants froze too. Indeed, cooling water.
Posted on Reply
#33
Caring1
mechtech
I've always found the power issues in the states interesting. What are the main reasons this happens?
Stupidity.
Allowing large manufacturers to draw off the grid without their own generating facilities.
Imagine if they were self sufficient in power, they could even sell back to the grid and make even more in tax breaks etc.
Posted on Reply
#34
dinmaster
a reason to hike prices for samsung? The whole thing happening in texas is going to push people to go solar/off the grid because it cant be counted on. i have a good grid here but i still want to move off of it because the prices are nuts, im a heavy user and it would we cheaper for me to go off grid, once you factor in the price per kwh and the delivery fees/taxes..
Posted on Reply
#35
Upgrayedd
dinmaster
a reason to hike prices for samsung? The whole thing happening in texas is going to push people to go solar/off the grid because it cant be counted on. i have a good grid here but i still want to move off of it because the prices are nuts, im a heavy user and it would we cheaper for me to go off grid, once you factor in the price per kwh and the delivery fees/taxes..
You realize the clouds are out during this right?
Posted on Reply
#36
dinmaster
Upgrayedd
You realize the clouds are out during this right?
You realize solar panels pick up uv right? it collects less, something like 85% less but still collects something.. cloudy solar power
Posted on Reply
#38
remixedcat
Good tech companies in TX should Come to WV we have been impacted way less by this and we don't rely on silly little windmills... haha
Posted on Reply
#39
nexus290
Upgrayedd
It is the very cost of going green. No sun to shine and the turbines are froze. Coal power plants are still running and selling electricity for $4000 per megawatt. Coal is contributing over half of the electric generation in the Southwest Power Pool. If Biden went 8 years and this happened in his 7th there would be many dead cause the coal plants would be shutdown and gone. Though this may just wake his sleepy ass up that you need coal.
You know nothing other than your despise for a political party.

And whoever said it's because they couldn't drive to work to get to the control panel... people actually believe that.

Texas largely relies on natural gas for power. It wasn’t ready for the extreme cold. This is the headlines of an article I found from a Texan newspaper

www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16/natural-gas-power-storm/

Officials for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages most of Texas’ grid, said the primary cause of the outages Tuesday appeared to be the state’s natural gas providers. Many are not designed to withstand such low temperatures on equipment or during production.


By some estimates, nearly half of the state’s natural gas production has screeched to a halt due to the extremely low temperatures, while freezing components at natural gas-fired power plants have forced some operators to shut down.


“Texas is a gas state,” said Michael Webber, an energy resources professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Posted on Reply
#40
Flanker
Sucks for the people that are freezing:(
Stay safe everyone
Posted on Reply
#41
claes
I thought this was an interesting article about the culture wars between liberals and conservatives surrounding this discussion, and details how energy production works in the US, highlighting this event and other blackouts in Texas history, but, trigger warning: it’s from a socialist magazine (that I generally disagree with). Don’t worry — they dig on liberals as much as they do conservatives. :)

jacobinmag.com/2021/02/texas-power-electricity-grid-weather-winter-storm

Not trying to get into a debate about economics or politics or whatever, but I felt that reframing the conversation in terms of profitability rather than fossils vs renewables is a helpful way to look at this problem.

(Gonna run to the liquor store now before I get trolled to death :eek: )

edit: please feel free to delete mods — not trying to start an argument as much as shift the debate :oops:
Posted on Reply
#42
BArms
It's been said repeatedly by many that all those liberals fleeing California for Texas will bring all their problems with them. Well, the power outages just arrived :)

Sorry, I couldn't resist, lighten up y'all.
Posted on Reply
#43
Why_Me
nexus290

Texas largely relies on natural gas for power. It wasn’t ready for the extreme cold. This is the headlines of an article I found from a Texan newspaper

www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16/natural-gas-power-storm/

Officials for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages most of Texas’ grid, said the primary cause of the outages Tuesday appeared to be the state’s natural gas providers. Many are not designed to withstand such low temperatures on equipment or during production.


By some estimates, nearly half of the state’s natural gas production has screeched to a halt due to the extremely low temperatures, while freezing components at natural gas-fired power plants have forced some operators to shut down.


“Texas is a gas state,” said Michael Webber, an energy resources professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
I live in Alaska. Any gas lines south of the Brooks Mountain Range are buried as I'm sure Texas buries their gas lines also and that's the insulation ... dirt. As far as it being too cold for the gas to come up from the wells .. that's a lie. Temps up on Alaska's north slope (Arctic Ocean) hit -70F and it has zero affect on the gas coming up from those wells.
Posted on Reply
#44
Nihilus
Minus Infinity
Unfortunately you can't harnass the energy of sheer ignorance and stupidity, as Texarse would have an infinite supply.

I think you got lost on the way to one of Trump's tweets.
If only snarkiness could power the world...
Posted on Reply
#45
Fouquin
Why_Me
I live in Alaska. Any gas lines south of the Brooks Mountain Range are buried as I'm sure Texas buries their gas lines also and that's the insulation ... dirt. As far as it being too cold for the gas to come up from the wells .. that's a lie. Temps up on Alaska's north slope (Arctic Ocean) hit -70F and it has zero affect on the gas coming up from those wells.
Pipelines existing in Alaska aren't the pipelines in Texas. Just as wind generators in Sweden aren't wind generators in Texas. They don't have winterized infrastructure, and that allowed a winter event to cause grid failure.

Your anecdotes are meaningless to the facts.
Posted on Reply
#46
Why_Me
Fouquin
Pipelines existing in Alaska aren't the pipelines in Texas. Just as wind generators in Sweden aren't wind generators in Texas. They don't have winterized infrastructure, and that allowed a winter event to cause grid failure.

Your anecdotes are meaningless to the facts.
I guess you failed to read my post. We bury our gas lines in the dirt as I'm guessing Texas does also. That's the insulation .. dirt. You can easily google it. And again as far as it being too cold for the gas to come up from those wells .. I'm not buying it. I've worked in -60 to -74F temps and we never had an issue with the gas coming up from those wells. Gas lines aren't exactly rocket science.
Posted on Reply
#47
Fouquin
Why_Me
I guess you failed to read my post. We bury our gas lines in the dirt as I'm guessing Texas does also. That's the insulation .. dirt. You can easily google it. And again as far as it being too cold for the gas to come up from those wells .. I'm not buying it. I've worked in -60 to -74F temps and we never had an issue with the gas coming up from those wells. Gas lines aren't exactly rocket science.
It is you who failed to read and comprehend.




Above ground infrastructure belonging to Atmos Energy in Throckmorton, TX. This and other above ground infrastructure subject to winter events across the state are what we're talking about here.
Posted on Reply
#48
Why_Me
Fouquin
It is you who failed to read and comprehend.




Above ground infrastructure belonging to Atmos Energy in Throckmorton, TX. This and other above ground infrastructure subject to winter events across the state are what we're talking about here.
That's a pic of a monitoring station .. all it does is monitor the gas so they know how much to charge (cubic ft.). The gas line going into my cabin goes 3/4 of the way around the outside of this place and none of its insulated. I've had -40 temps multiple times and have never had an issue.
Posted on Reply
#49
Gmr_Chick
dragontamer5788
There are two connections from ERCOT (Texas's grid) that is to be used only in emergencies. I think this qualifies as an emergency, especially as some people are literally freezing to death. So I'm not against sending power to Texas in the ways that we can... But that doesn't change the fact that Texas built its state and grid specifically to avoid federal regulations. Heck: it sometimes seems like there are more connections between ERCOT and Mexico than ERCOT to the rest of the USA.

There's also the 2011 Blackouts: when Texas temperatures dropped to 20F for a few days and knocked out something like 50 power plants. Its not like cold weather is that rare in Texas, the last rolling blackouts due to cold are easily within living memory.
To add to this. Even before the winter storm hit, officials there knew it was coming, and yet, nobody could be bothered to prepare for the damn thing? That's just a failure in state leadership from top to bottom if you ask me.

A part of me also believes this is karma's way of bitch slapping Ted Cruz for the tweet he did last August mocking California due to the fact that the state was in the midst of a brutal heat wave at the time and as a result, the governor called for rolling blackouts to help ease the strain on the grid. We hadn't had to do rolling blackouts since 2001.

That aside, I truly feel for the folks having to suffer through this. :( <3
Posted on Reply
#50
Fatalfury
and they wanted to MOVE the Semiconductor manufacturing from China to the US..lol
US seem to even struggling with the basics..not sure how they gonna keep up with the labour and pay while making cost effective products..

When Some fab in China stops Manufacturing for 30Mins due to some Fire or other natural Calamity,
It increase world wide prices by 5-10%.

lol thinking what would be the Case if its like this in the US.

thank God the manufacturing of 7/5nm process has not yet commenced by TSMC or Samsung in the US.
that would be mean prices increase by 50% for all Qualcomm/AMD/Nvidia chips...


Hope the US fix thier problems by 2023/2024 when real manfacturing starts in 5 and 3Nm
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