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Taiwan companies report minimal effect from quake

Posted: 03 Apr 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:UMC? TSMC? chip manufacturing center? wafer? DRAM?

An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale shook Taiwan Sunday, March 31, but semiconductor foundries United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) and Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg Co. Ltd (TSMC) reported no interruption of power or water service following the quake.

The temblor was less powerful at Taiwan's two main chip manufacturing centers, measuring 4.0 at Hsinchu and 2.0 at Tainan, UMC reported.

"A very minimal amount of equipment was slightly affected but UMC's engineering team is working hard to speed the full recovery," the company said in a statement.

TSMC president Rick Tsai said, "The fab tool inspection assessments indicate that only minimal adjustment and repairs for the equipment are necessary. All the fabs have gradually resumed normal production. According to the initial report, there was approximately half day to one day's loss of wafer movement, which has very minimal impact on the company's revenue for Q2 2002."

Following a major quake in Taiwan on Sept. 21, 1999, UMC took a number of steps to help it resume operations quickly when struck by a large earthquake, said UMC's chairman Robert Tsao.

"We are glad that this preparation has also helped minimize the disruption following this recent earthquake," Tsao said.

Other companies in the Hsinchu Science Park, including Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. and Winbond Electronics Corp., reported moderate damage. SiS, a designer and producer of PC chip sets, said the quake will have "minimal impact." At DRAM and logic chip maker Winbond, its Fab 1 and Fab 2 facilities are back to "normal operation," the company said. "Some machines in Fab 4 and 5 sustained slight losses. However, the company has enough spares in reserve to replace the damage so the production operation has already resumed. Overall 85 percent of normal throughput can be expected within one week."

? David Lammers and Mike Clendenin

EE Times

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