TSMC yields reportedly hit by faulty materials

January 29, 2019 | 10:46

Tags: #12nm #16nm #fab #fab-14b #nanke #semiconductor #silicon-waver #sun-youwen #wafer

Companies: #hisilicon #huawei #mediatek #nvidia #taiwan-semiconductor

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) has reportedly suffered a materials issue at its Fab 14B facility in Nanke, resulting in lower-than-expected yields across more than 10,000 wafers - though, senior director Sun Youwen claims, not all parts need to be scrapped.

According to local news outlet Business Next, TSMC's Fab 14B facility received substandard raw materials, from an unnamed supplier, which were used in the creation of more than 10,000 wafers across its 16nm and 12nm process node production lines. While the issue isn't serious enough to require complete scrapping of the affected wafers, it has significantly dropped down the company's yield - the percentage of parts etched onto the wafer that actually work as expected.

In statements to Business Next, TSMC senior director Sun Youwen is quoted as stating that the issue will not affect the company's current financial forecast. Youwen also explains that it will be contacting its supplier - thought to be Shin-Etsu, JSR, or Dow Chemical - for compensation while increasing production so that its own customers can be put back on track as soon as possible.

TSMC has not detailed exactly which products on its 12nm and 16nm production lines were affected, but known customers include Nvidia, Huawei's HiSilicon division, and MediaTek.

The issue is the second production setback to hit TSMC in the last year, following a virus infection in August 2018 that shut down several of the company's plants for disinfection.

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