Thursday, May 27th 2021

Second TSMC Fab Worker Detected with COVID-19, Chip Shortages on the Anvil?

Taiwan's most valuable company, and chipmaker of the world, TSMC, confirmed that at least two of its fab workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but maintains that it doesn't affect operations at the plants. Most regions around world, including Taiwan, are bracing for successive waves of the disease, and a spread of COVID at TSMC could spell big trouble for the tech-giants dependent on the company for contract-manufacturing of their cutting-edge logic chips. Taiwan has been mostly spared from the Corona epidemic, but is now experiencing its largest wave of COVID-19 infections, with its medical infrastructure under strain. The latest outbreak has the potential to throw operations at TSMC off gear, affecting the supply chains of tens of billions of Dollars worth devices and vehicles around the world.

TSMC maintains an internal epidemic prevention committee, which has conducted contact-tracing of the the two employees, and discovered 10 contacts. Some of these have been sent to home-isolation, while others are closely monitoring themselves for symptoms. TSMC pledged that it will monitor the health of its employees on a daily basis. It has also completed the disinfection of the affected employees' workplace, and public areas visited by them. It once again emphasized that the incident will not affect company operations.
Taiwan is experiencing a spike in new COVID-19 cases since around May 10, sending more of the country's workforce on home-isolation or quarantine. Most countries hit by spikes in COVID cases have had to institute lockdowns to curb spread of the disease. For Taiwan, this means either factories being shut, or working under-capacity. The prospects of both of which could horrify TSMC's clientele that include AMD, Apple, Qualcomm, and Intel. Pat Gelsinger last week stated that the company received its first 7 nm wafers from TSMC, and could be exploring the fab for its next-gen products.
Source: Taiwan News
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46 Comments on Second TSMC Fab Worker Detected with COVID-19, Chip Shortages on the Anvil?

#1
ZoneDymo
Oh no, now I wont be able to buy anything!....wait...
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#2
AusWolf
Ah, so it's the Taiwanese variant this time. Yeah, right...
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#3
Flanker
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't semiconductor fabs' working conditions be the best at preventing virus spread? Seeing how everyone is all wrapped up in protective gear
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#4
64K
Considering that TSMC employees number almost 53,000 then 2 cases is nothing.
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#5
TumbleGeorge
TSMC work with hundred of billion USD...Why they were not spending before months a ~$200000 to vaccinate all workers?
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#6
evernessince
TumbleGeorgeTSMC work with hundred of billion USD...Why they were not spending before months a ~$200000 to vaccinate all workers?
If I had to guess, it's likely that Taiwan has issues acquiring doses. TSMC may have a lot of money itself but that's likely nothing in comparison to entire countries vying for doses. I highly doubt China is helping them in that regard either. Taiwan is also going through a drought right now and the Chinese government doesn't seem to care. They are in a very difficult position because it's hard to actually get doses to Taiwan because that will anger the chinese yet the chinese won't do anything themselves to help. Heck the Chinese hate it when people even acknowledge that Taiwan is separate.
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#7
Vya Domus
I find it hard to believe that there hasn't already been a ton of cases during all this time.
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#8
Tomorrow
FlankerCorrect me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't semiconductor fabs' working conditions be the best at preventing virus spread? Seeing how everyone is all wrapped up in protective gear
That is what im thinking as well. Especially working in cleanrooms where even a spec of dust gets sucked out.
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#9
Legacy-ZA
TomorrowThat is what im thinking as well. Especially working in cleanrooms where even a spec of dust gets sucked out.
You are questioning the lie, it's NOT ALLOWED! /s
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#10
cyberloner
gpu cpu another price hikes.............
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#11
Fourstaff
FlankerCorrect me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't semiconductor fabs' working conditions be the best at preventing virus spread? Seeing how everyone is all wrapped up in protective gear
In theory yes, but most workers are outside the cleanroom without protective gear.
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#12
Flanker
FourstaffIn theory yes, but most workers are outside the cleanroom without protective gear.
Most of them? Well crap...
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#13
Caring1
FlankerCorrect me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't semiconductor fabs' working conditions be the best at preventing virus spread? Seeing how everyone is all wrapped up in protective gear
They have the best working conditions to prevent spread, but they don't work 24/7 in clean rooms wearing PPE.
The problem is the spread of the virus outside of work.
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#14
DeathtoGnomes
A small breakout ( <10% workers ) could send stock prices into a tizzy.
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#15
Caring1
evernessinceIf I had to guess, it's likely that Taiwan has issues acquiring doses. TSMC may have a lot of money itself but that's likely nothing in comparison to entire countries vying for doses. I highly doubt China is helping them in that regard either. Taiwan is also going through a drought right now and the Chinese government doesn't seem to care. They are in a very difficult position because it's hard to actually get doses to Taiwan because that will anger the chinese yet the chinese won't do anything themselves to help. Heck the Chinese hate it when people even acknowledge that Taiwan is separate.
That's a politically contentious statement considering.
www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-25/china-offers-vaccines-to-taiwan-to-fight-covid-19/100163176
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#16
TheLostSwede
AusWolfAh, so it's the Taiwanese variant this time. Yeah, right...
No variant, just the same virus as everywhere else. It just finally got a foothold.
64KConsidering that TSMC employees number almost 53,000 then 2 cases is nothing.
Not all of them works in fabs, nor in Taiwan.
TumbleGeorgeTSMC work with hundred of billion USD...Why they were not spending before months a ~$200000 to vaccinate all workers?
Because politics? The PRC is preventing Taiwan from buying vaccine, expect the PRC one, which doesn't work properly.
Caring1That's a politically contentious statement considering.
www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-25/china-offers-vaccines-to-taiwan-to-fight-covid-19/100163176
"offered"
Would you take the PRC vaccine which even the WHO said didn't provide enough protection against the virus to be an effective vaccine?
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#17
zenlaserman
Ehh, just some rando's opinion, but I feel like this is non-news. Many companies these days have protocols in-place to contain any spread of covid19, any possibly infected employees will be given 2-3 weeks off for "quarantine", people will run around and disinfect everything they can, and business as usual. Worst-case the company loses a few employees and the workers lose a good peer or three.

A company as large as TSMC has nothing to worry about, I have heard of far worse situations here in California where businesses with under 200 employees have had whole departments taken out for nearly a month This shit can really hurt small businesses.
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#18
HTC
FlankerCorrect me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't semiconductor fabs' working conditions be the best at preventing virus spread? Seeing how everyone is all wrapped up in protective gear
Before they go to their work places using their protective gear, if applicable, they reach work using "regular clothes", and this is where the virus can spread.

I have no idea how many people there are and how close together they are when they arrive / leave work but that's likely where the virus CAN spread between workers: there's also the possibility of it being spread during their lunch / dinner breaks.
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#19
Chaitanya
TheLostSwedeNo variant, just the same virus as everywhere else. It just finally got a foothold.


Not all of them works in fabs, nor in Taiwan.


Because politics? The PRC is preventing Taiwan from buying vaccine, expect the PRC one, which doesn't work properly.


"offered"
Would you take the PRC vaccine which even the WHO said didn't provide enough protection against the virus to be an effective vaccine?
Sinovac is been found to be a placebo at best, other read in middle east even after 2 doses there were no antibodies detected and most recipients were slated for 3rd dose.
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#20
xkm1948
Looks like at our comments section vaccine experts all of a sudden. Ah nope, more like copy pasta. TPU news comments section never cease to amaze. Getting worse and worse
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#21
R-T-B
AusWolfAh, so it's the Taiwanese variant this time. Yeah, right...
No, it's the fact that Taiwan never vaccinated because until now they never had to, never got hit.

This was only a matter of time. It was a ticking time bomb.
xkm1948Looks like at our comments section vaccine experts all of a sudden. Ah nope, more like copy pasta. TPU news comments section never cease to amaze. Getting worse and worse
It is rather amazing some days.
zenlasermanEhh, just some rando's opinion, but I feel like this is non-news.
We'll see in a few weeks.
Vya DomusI find it hard to believe that there hasn't already been a ton of cases during all this time.
Not in Taiwan, until just recently.
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#22
RealKGB
How fun.
Hope the two employees are doing alright, and it hasn't spread too much/at all.

Side note: I'm really glad I got my Ryzen 5 3600 in August. It was $180 then.
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#23
medi01
Judging by AMD/NV financials, "chip shortages" is an euphemism of "dear customers, go have kamasutra with yourself until mining bubble bursts"
RealKGBSide note: I'm really glad I got my Ryzen 5 3600 in August. It was $180 then.
Hm, where is the catch? It's 159€ now (with 19% VAT) (5600x is 279€ :()
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#24
RedBear
Caring1That's a politically contentious statement considering.
www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-25/china-offers-vaccines-to-taiwan-to-fight-covid-19/100163176
Taiwan also said that China somehow "blocked" a deal with Biontech
www.reuters.com/world/china/taiwan-says-china-blocked-deal-with-biontech-covid-19-shots-2021-05-26/
To be honest I don't completely buy the idea that Taiwan is behind in its vaccination efforts because of China, in East Asia Japan is similarly in the single digit percentage of vaccinated people despite the incoming Olympic Games and S. Korea is faring little better.
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#25
TheLostSwede
RedBearTaiwan also said that China somehow "blocked" a deal with Biontech
www.reuters.com/world/china/taiwan-says-china-blocked-deal-with-biontech-covid-19-shots-2021-05-26/
To be honest I don't completely buy the idea that Taiwan is behind in its vaccination efforts because of China, in East Asia Japan is similarly in the single digit percentage of vaccinated people despite the incoming Olympic Games and S. Korea is fairing little better.
The distributor is in the PRC and is refusing to sell to Taiwan.

Taiwan was given 700k doses of AZ from WHO through covax, that's it, until tomorrow when 150k doses of Moderna arrives.
None of that is going to put a dent in a population of 23million+.
Taiwan is expecting to have the first local vaccine ready by July.
www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4211537

Terry is going to try to get Taiwan some more vaccines.
www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4211354
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