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Samsung's Chip Fabs in Texas Ordered to Shut Down Due to Power Shortage

This one is also bad. About one week ago, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake was recorded off the coast in northeastern Japan. Shin-Etsu Chemical, a key supplier of photoresist, announced the closure of its factories. As the supply of photoresist is urgent, the shortage of semiconductors might be getting worse.
 

hist78

Active member
Hey Samsung, The new Fab might be better suited for: http://www.gcedc.com/index.php/wny-stamp

US has three electricity power interconnected networks: Eastern, Western, and Texas. In terms of electricity reliability, Texas is all by themselves. No any other states can step in when Texas is in trouble, like the current crisis. Texas might like ultimate control of their electricity production, distribution, and pricing. But for a $10 to $15 billion fab operator, it's a risky gamble without a convincing reason.
 
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Garrett McEwen

New member
For something like a 14nm FinFET node, how much notice would a fab need of a mandatory shutdown to get wafers into a safe state? And for that matter, along the line what fraction of steps could be made safe? I assume there are linked steps where there's no safe way to hit the "pause" button?

I know that some fabs have their own onsite generation/cogeneration in part to ensure reliable supply of power. I'm a little curious why that isn't more common. It would seem dropping an aeroderivative turbine or two next to a fab would be cheap insurance.

I've only been in the industry for two years and I have not seen any fab-wide shutdowns planned or unplanned. Just the thought of it gives me some anxiety.
 

hist78

Active member
Samsung and NXP are still down as 2/19/21 afternoon. I'm wondering if any serious impact on Applied Materials.

As power returns for many Austin residents, semiconductor plants remain shut down
 

JohanDijkhuis

New member
More than 20 years ago the Philips Semiconductor fabs in Nijmegen lost power, it took a bit more than a day to get things running again, but the most advanced fab was .18 micron. One fab in the US actually caught fire due to a power outage, that took a lot more time to recover from. Now they knew up front, I assume that makes an enormous difference. At the time they could etch away the last process step and redo it.

For the Y2K precautions there were a lot of diesel generators for the Nijmegen fabs, and the fabs were only on standby, not working. So I am not sure if emergency generators are feasible for sudden power loss. It is really expensive for something that happens less than once a year, and unless capacity is used 100% like now (and then...) it is probably not worth it, as long as only the process step is lost and not all lots being worked on.

Important is to tell your customers though, they should hear from their supplier that the fab is down, not read it on the internet! Daily updates on status is strongly recommended if you are not 100% sure you can deliver as promised. (the Philips CEO got summoned and had to apologize, fortunately our department head had done so and was used as good example, some much higher level managers for other products had not and they were in for some shit).
 

hist78

Active member
More than 20 years ago the Philips Semiconductor fabs in Nijmegen lost power, it took a bit more than a day to get things running again, but the most advanced fab was .18 micron. One fab in the US actually caught fire due to a power outage, that took a lot more time to recover from. Now they knew up front, I assume that makes an enormous difference. At the time they could etch away the last process step and redo it.

For the Y2K precautions there were a lot of diesel generators for the Nijmegen fabs, and the fabs were only on standby, not working. So I am not sure if emergency generators are feasible for sudden power loss. It is really expensive for something that happens less than once a year, and unless capacity is used 100% like now (and then...) it is probably not worth it, as long as only the process step is lost and not all lots being worked on.

Important is to tell your customers though, they should hear from their supplier that the fab is down, not read it on the internet! Daily updates on status is strongly recommended if you are not 100% sure you can deliver as promised. (the Philips CEO got summoned and had to apologize, fortunately our department head had done so and was used as good example, some much higher level managers for other products had not and they were in for some shit).

You brought up a good point is that the companies should communicate with customers fully. In this case, I believe it should include general public too because Samsung is a public traded company.

To my surprise, Samsung Austin Foundry's news page is still stuck in February 2020.

 
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hist78

Active member
Samsung Foundry, Infineon Technologies, and NXP Semiconductors have not yet restarted operating their fabs in Austin, Texas

From now on I don't know what State of Texas will say to any businesses that Texas is a great place for the manufacturers. This man-made disaster exposed that Texas' power grid is intentionally isolated from the rest of the United States. No states could send in any electricity when Texas desperately needed it.

It's sad to see Samsung, NXP, and Infineon are suffering from this policy and government failure.
 
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Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
From now on I don't know what State of Texas will say to any businesses that Texas is a great place for the manufacturers. This man-made disaster exposed that Texas' power grid is intentionally isolated from the rest of the United States. No states could send in any electricity when Texas desperately needed it.

It's sad to see Samsung, NXP, and Infineon are suffering from this policy and government failure.

Water, power, and severe weather, could be a problem anywhere in the US.
 
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